Singapore/Fling and owk, thank you both for your truly illuminating comments. They help me think about the play from a different perspective and in a more complete context. I have only seen a few of Wilson's plays so far, and I am really looking forward to seeing the rest of the cycle.
Many probably already know this, but I recently found out that Anthony Chisholm appeared in his role in 1996 in Pittsburgh, in 2000 off-Broadway, and the Broadway production and current tour. He is the Carol Channing of Jitney! All kidding aside, he is truly great in the part, and I am very glad I had the opportunity to see him.