|Brad Dourif and Amanda Plummer. Photo: Carol Rosegg|
By Tennessee Williams
Directed by Gene David Kirk
New World Stages
What's It All About?
Good question. Most of the reviews or synopses of this play, which Williams wrote 25 years after A Streetcar Named Desire, include phrases like "confusing," "hard to follow," "perhaps autobiographical," "not for everyone" and that it was too out there for 1967. I concur. With all of the above. For 2013 too.
The play focuses on Felice (Brad Dourif) and Clare (Amanda Plummer), brother and sister actors on tour in a two-character play. Something awful has happened and there is a question of whether the two want to or will be able to continue on with the performance. Then there is a question of whether it really is a performance or whether all of this is taking place in one, or possibly both, of their minds trying to cope with a real tragedy and the possibility of being confined for mental instability. A poster for the show boasts the tag line "Reason and Reality Have Left the Building." Again, I concur.
What are the Highlights?
Dourif and Plummer rise to the occasion with some nice performances. Anytime we get to see Plummer on stage, that's a highlight.
What are the Lowlights?
I felt as though I were losing grips on my own mental faculties by the end of the two acts that run just under two hours with an intermission. Let's just say it's not a good sign when ushers are selling beer in the aisles before the start of the play asking whether they can get anyone drunk..... By the time a gun was introduced into the plot, I was wondering whether I could help put them, or myself out of our misery with it. My brain really becomes unhinged when plays like this get produced while there are so many great ones out there, especially by women, looking for a stage home..... I must confess, however, that I'm not a huge Williams fan. Others are, however. Read on.....
After years of withholding rights, Williams’ estate granted permission for Kirk to present the play at London’s Jermyn Street Theatre where he served as Artistic Director. Kirk was introduced to the play by his mentor Corin Redgrave, whose sister Vanessa had long desired it as a personal vehicle. Opening in October 2010, the play earned the critical success that had eluded it years earlier. Kirk dedicates this production to the memory of Mr. Redgrave.
A new block of tickets has just been released through Nov. 17 at New Workd Stages, 340 West 50th St., NYC. Performances are Monday at 8 pm; Wednesday at 2 and 8 pm, Thursday and Friday at 8 pm; Saturday at 2:30 and 8 pm; Sunday at 3 pm. Tickets are $72.50 - $126.50: Telecharge.com; 212-239-6200.
Christians might also like to know:
-- God's name taken in vain
-- Lauren Yarger