The Glass Menagerie (review)

The Glass Menagerie (review)
The Glass Menagerie (review)
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THE PLAY: This Tennessee Williams classic is about a domineering Southern mother, her restless poet son and the daughter with a mild “affliction.”

 

THE PRODUCTION: As stated in the opening monologue, this play is a dimly-lit, sentimental, memory play. As staged by director Morrie Piersol, this production doesn’t capture that sentimental mystique. Departing a bit from Amanda’s traditionally-played pitiful style, Lian-Marie Holmes creates a character with more pluck than woe. Matt Bloch’s son manages some humor in his observations, which also ameliorates some of the play’s potential misery. Louise Keeton’s daughter has an almost continual expression of hangdog misery. (With mom and brother steeped in Southern, where is the daughter’s accent?) Rounding out the cast is Cooper Sved, whose Gentleman Caller brings smiling charm and energy. Many of the tech elements are lackluster and/or distracting. The design concept by Tennessee Dixon wasn’t ably realized by the set’s shoddy construction. Even though the projections are called for in the script, they don’t add value and become almost comical in their comments. The random undermixed music (written by Jonathan Beard) didn’t achieve its affect and the slow light fades were rendered graceless by the jittery low-budget LEDs. Side lighting can be dramatic, but this time, Michael Jarett’s design causes more face shadows than drama. Running time: 2:05

 

THE POINT: While the show is quietly affecting, it lacks the poetic style that can make the play so moving.

 

3.5 out of 5 stars (3.5 / 5)

 

A 5th Wall Production at The Basement thru 2/8

 

LISTEN TO MY REVIEW (as aired on WRIR)

 

Lian-Marie Holmes, Matt Bloch, Louise Keeton (Photos by Tom Topinka)

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