Tag Archives: Tennessee Williams
Tennessee Williams’ Suddenly Last Summer presents a considerable challenge for theaters to pull off with its quirky characters, its quirkier premise and its total abandonment of theatricalized naturalism in favor of unabashed symbolism. Island City Stage should be commended for the courage to tackle this work at all and considerable praise for wrestling it to an acceptable draw.
Blessed with a glorious score and soaring arias, you would think that André Previn’s take on A Streetcar Named Desire would be a triumph as Florida Grand Opera’s first major production in two years. But as well worth it may be seeing, the collision of high-toned opera and Tennessee Williams’ theatrical drama simply do not meld into a single artistic whole.
Confessions of a Nightingale spends time listening to Tennessee Williams escorts visitors through a rambling tour of his life. Actor Christopher Dreeson and director Jeffrey Bruce have worked very hard shaping this fascinating material, which is inherently rewarding, but two problems dog the production.
Some works of art are born in a long gestation period of mulling almost in the unconscious; others leap gloriously to life in an exultant flash that is one of joys of being a creative person. Billy and Me, Terry Teachout’s play about the relationship between playwrights William Inge and Tennessee Williams premiering this month at Palm Beach Dramaworks, is both.
The emotional histrionics and pyrotechnic acting in the first act notwithstanding, it’s the quiet poignant moments of compassion and connection in the second act that are the most deeply affecting in Palm Beach Dramaworks’ skillful resurrection of Tennessee Williams’ The Night of the Iguana.
The Night of the Iguana is the “other” Tennessee Williams play, the one most theatergoers have heard of, maybe even seen the Richard Burton-John Huston film, but likely have never gotten around to seeing on stage. Palm Beach Dramaworks is providing an opportunity to fill that gap on their patrons’ cultural checklist when it opens its 17th season this month.
These are not at all necessarily what we predict will be the best shows this season (although they may be) or the best attended or the most popular or the most award-winning. We don’t care. These are the shows we most want to see for a variety of reasons. The list is woefully incomplete, likely with major but unintentional omissions.
There’s a daringness to Stephanie Ansin’s vision at Miami Theater Center that makes you find things to love about a piece, even one that ends up having more than a few problems. As a continuation of her exploration of themes of isolation and entrapment, Ansin and company have chosen Tennessee Williams’ The Two Character Play.
As unassailable as television actress Nicole Ari Parker is as the wounded Southern belle, Blanche DuBois, Emily Mann’s production of A Streetcar Named Desire leaps like it was hit with a cattle prod every time Blair Underwood erupts into a scene.