Tag: Tennessee Williams
No Way to Treat a Lady: The Violence is Over the Top in the TAS Production of “A Streetcar Named Desire”
Tennessee Williams meant for Stanley be a crude, lower-class, but upward-aspiring American ethnic of Polish descent and for his and Stella’s apartment to be a pressure cooker, but I seriously doubt if he meant for Stanley to explode into physical violence — smashing crockery, manhandling Stella, throttling and eventually raping Blanche — as often as he does in the current Theater of the American South presentation of “A Streetcar Named Desire.” Indeed, the violence that Hurricane Stanley inflicts on his sister-in-law and wife and their meager possessions necessitates lengthy scene changes that dissipate dramatic tension.
The 2012 season of the Theater of the American South, a professional theater founded in 2006, will include Tennessee Williams’ 1948 Pulitzer Prize-winning drama, “A Streetcar Named Desire,” and “A Tuff Shuffle: Backstage with Louis Armstrong,” a critically acclaimed one-man show written and performed by Danny Mullen. “A Tuff Shuffle” will play May 10-27 in the Lauren Kennedy and Alan Campbell Theatre at Barton College in Wilson, NC; and “A Streetcar Named Desire” will play May 11-27 in the Edna Boykin Cultural Center in downtown Wilson.
“Adapted from Tennessee Williams’ The Glass Menagerie, this new telling overlays J.D. Salinger’s Glass family with the Wingfields. Two of the mid-20th century’s greatest dysfunctional families bring firepower and grace to this re-imagined modern classic in the style of Little Green Pig’s Three Sisters (On Ice)  and A Streetcar Named Desire .”
Lee Breuer’s adaptation of “The Glass Menagerie” is a bold experiment that starts to go awry almost immediately as Greg Mehrten and Maude Mitchell swap roles and speak each others’ lines — in forced and phony Southern accents — in The Glass Menagerie. (The irritating drawl that Mitchell and Mehrten adopt is the Hollywood notion of how natives of the Deep South sound.)
Mabou Mines is an institution of the American avant-garde; for 40 years they’ve staged brave new plays and taken ‘startlingly original’ slants on classic texts (Theatre Journal). Their perpetual revolution continues in a two-week residency at Duke, when the innovators prepare a new, dream-vision take on Tennessee Williams’ “The Glass Menagerie,” under the direction of the ‘wizard-director’ [Lee] Breuer (New York Times).