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Home » Production History » 2017 Productions » East Texas Hot Links

East Texas Hot Links

By Eugene Lee
Directed by Montae Russell

September 29th – November 5th, 2017

It’s summer, 1955, in the piney woods of East Texas where local men wander into Charlesetta’s Top o’ the Hill Cafe almost every night for comfort, solace and companionship. Times are changing, the Klan is active and young black men have been disappearing or turning up dead. This night, Delmus wants to celebrate getting a new job but the other regulars are skeptical. They try to warn him as they joke, feed the jukebox and play cards until betrayal catches all of them and life at Top o’ the Hill is changed forever.


Kevin Brown
Sam Lothard
Cheryl El-Walker
Jonathan Berry
Monteze Freeland
Chuck Timbers
Les Howard
Taylor Moss

Stage Manager: Tashia Scott-Terri

Reviews: Post-Gazette, Pittsburgh in the RoundCity PaperBurgh Vivant, Owl Scribe, Pittsburgh Tatler, Talkin’ Broadway

More: Post-Gazette Preview, City Paper on PPTCO’s longer runs, Video interview with Montae Russell and Cheryl El-Walker

Read the program.

“Unless the Royal Shakespeare Company brings its whole repertory to town, East Texas Hot Links is going to rank among the 10 best plays of the year. It’s an intense experience in an intimate theater, acted with compelling authenticity.”
– Christopher Rawson, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

“Enchanting because of its sense of place and mesmerizing because it was astoundingly well performed, well-written and the direction by Montae Russell is sharp as a lilting rhythm.” – Jason Clearfield, Pittsburgh in the Round

East Texas Hot Links is a deceptive little play. It appears to be a humorous little concoction; a character study with men ruminating over the troubles of the day…. Then, Lee blows the roof off – literally and figuratively. It’s a pot-boiler that explodes on the stove in the final few minutes.”– Michael “Buzz” Buzzelli, ‘Burgh Vivant

“Feels like both a cautionary tale and a call to solidarity.” – Wendy Arons, Pittsburgh Tatler


East Texas Hot Links photos by Gail Manker