Share this story
Close X
Switch to Desktop Site



``The Piano Lesson'' (CBS, 9-11 p.m.): August Wilson, a leading American playwright who portrays African-American life, hasn't had one of his works filmed before, so this show is a notable event for TV. ``The Piano Lesson'' was praised by critics when it opened on Broadway in 1990, and it went on to win the Pulitzer Prize for that year.

About these ads

The title refers to the carved, upright piano that is an heirloom in the Pittsburgh parlor of Berniece Charles in 1936. Her brother, Boy Willie, arrives with expansive plans to sell the piano and buy land in Mississippi. The drama's memorable conflict is between Boy Willie's scheme and Berniece's desire to keep the piano - the kind of tension between pumped-up future visions and a haunted past that made Lorraine Hansberry's ``Raisin in the Sun'' so powerful.

Lloyd Richards has now directed four Wilson stage plays, including ``The Piano Lesson.'' He also directed the TV adaptation, a Hallmark Hall of Fame special. It stars Charles Dutton, who recreates the Boy Willie role that made such an impact on Broadway. (One major critic called him ``a force of nature on stage.'') Alfre Woodard is Berniece. * MONDAY

``Inside the FBI'' (PBS, 9-11 p.m.): In the last few years there's been lots of allegations about J. Edgar Hoover's past, but before this two-part program, documentary cameras haven't actually been allowed this kind of access to the daily operations of the bureau. Viewers see, for instance, a SWAT team make a dawn raid on an alleged drug dealer in Dallas.

It's part of a history that begins in the 1920s and follows the bureau's sometimes-troubled course through history. Looming in the background, and sometimes the forefront, is Hoover's image as the program probes issues of violated rights, national security, and what the proper role of the bureau should be.

The second part airs Wed., Feb. 8, 9-11 p.m.

Please check local listings for these programs.

Follow Stories Like This
Get the Monitor stories you care about delivered to your inbox.