Articles tagged with: Tennessee Williams
Interview: In the most intimate and empathic way, Mierka Girten connects with Trinket Dugan, the character she plays with disarming honesty in Tennessee Williams’ “The Mutilated” at A Red Orchid Theatre. Actor and character share deep, physical, albeit invisible, wounds.The big difference is that while Trinket conceals her mastectomy – her mutilation — in sorrow and shame, Girten talks openly about the multiple sclerosis she has struggled with since her days as a drama student at DePaul University.
Critic’s Pick: In a tribute to the downside of love, Chicago theaters send superb “anti-Valentines.” If you favor sarcastic greeting cards on the subject of romance, and aloof lyrics about love affairs “too hot not to cool down,” here are some shows that serve up the subject of love on Cupid’s big day with an appropriate grain of salt.
Review: Life, Tennessee Williams’ plays insist again and again, is a painful passage. Bitter, sweet, paradoxical, farcical. Never mind that other business about sound and fury and nothingness. Williams views the world through a lens of dark existential comedy, and it is on display in all its sad glory in A Red Orchid Theatre’s trenchant take on “The Mutilated.” ★★★★
Interview: Tracy Michelle Arnold, who portrays a feisty and resourceful Blanche DuBois in Tennessee Williams’ “A Streetcar Named Desire” at American Players Theatre, doesn’t buy the common perception of this embattled woman as “a crazy person.” Arnold sees Blanche as a scarred fighter who never gives up her struggle to survive, even at the end.
Fourth in a series of season previews: The Chicago theater company that now appears to be one thing, then slyly becomes completely different (and hence calls itself The Hypocrites), will serve up a typically careening season for 2015-16: two existential musicals framing three plays that peer deeply into the abyss of fate.
Review: She is a fascinating character, indeed one of the iconic personas in all of theater, Blanche DuBois, the fallen Southern belle of Tennessee Williams’ “A Streetcar Named Desire.” The undying question is, Why? What’s so intriguing about this dame with the checkered past? Perhaps it’s her vulnerability, or her delusion, or her sheer refusal to go quietly into middle-aged oblivion. I think that’s the thing, her feisty pluck, that makes Tracy Michelle Arnold’s Blanche so compelling at American Players Theatre in Spring Green, Wis. ★★★★★
Preview: In her second summer as artistic director of American Players Theatre, Brenda Devita can claim her fingerprints alone on the scheme of eight widely ranging plays that will run in repertory well into the autumn. And DeVita embraces that authorship with pride, starting with the company’s first go at Tennessee Williams’ monumental tragedy “A Streetcar Named Desire.” “We’re taking it outdoors,” she says, referring to the starry-domed 1,148-seat Up-the-Hill Theatre.
Interview: If you look at this wounded but willful, indeed headstrong and dauntless soul Serafina in Tennessee Williams’ tragi-comedy “The Rose Tattoo” and see nothing less than a force of nature, you’re on the same page with Eileen Niccolai, who brings the belligerent widow to hilarious life with Shattered Globe Theatre.
Review: When I look back on Chicago’s current theater season, certain performances will stand out as they always do for that singular blurring of actor and character that makes you feel more like you’re eavesdropping than watching a play. No doubt that special few will include Eileen Niccolai’s earthy, vulnerable, funny embodiment of Serafina Delle Rose in Tennessee Williams’ “The Rose Tattoo” with Shattered Globe Theatre. ★★★★
Review: Lisa D’Amour’s latest play, “Airline Highway,” now in its world premiere run at Steppenwolf Theatre, pulls together an intriguing mélange of characters from what might euphemistically be called a subculture of contemporary New Orleans. They are a collection of losers. But memorable. Indeed, D’Amour’s sharply drawn prostitutes, addicts and schemers leave a more vivid impression than her troubled drama. ★★★
Third in a series of season previews: The 24th season at Shattered Globe Theatre opens in the spray, rage and terror of Joe Forbrich’s new play “The Whaleship Essex,” a sea thriller that dramatizes an incident in 1820 when the whaling vessel Essex was attacked and destroyed by a giant whale.
Review: Raven Theatre’s very fine production of Tennessee Williams’ “Vieux Carré” bespeaks that lyrical playwright in the long, sad twilight of his creative career and, indeed, his life. It is a look back into the predawn of Williams’ emergence as an important voice, a play filled with rich characters of meager means, and the lean, fierce eloquence of this account directed by Cody Estle gets it wonderfully right. ★★★★
Review:;One of the delights of this 2013 Chicago summer is a gently revisionist production of Tennessee Williams’ “The Glass Menagerie” by Marie-Arrchie Theatre, conceived and directed by Hans Fleischmann, who also plays the role of Tom. After selling out last fall at Angel Island and transferring to Theater Wit in May, the show has extended its run to July 28. ★★★★★
13th in a series of season previews: Three world premieres punctuate an ambitious slate of nine productions at the Goodman Theatre in the coming season. Two other shows are Chicago premieres. The red-letter lineup begins with Tennessee Williams’ “Sweet Bird of Youth,” following up on last season’s high-profile account of Williams’ “Camino Real.”
Carnal carnival at Goodman. 3 stars.