A Streetcar Named Desire (Review)

A Streetcar Named Desire (Review)
A Streetcar Named Desire (Review)
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THE PLAY: Life is tumultuous but good for Stella and Stanley (her rough hewn husband) in 1947 New Orleans. When her sister Blanche takes refuge in their tiny apartment, her unfortunate conditions and deteriorating mental state cause clashes in this Tennessee Williams drama.

 

THE PRODUCTION: When a play pivots on one character (Blanche) the choice the actor and director make is crucial. Unfortunately, a rushed Bianca Bryan exaggerates all of the iconic role’s stereotypes without inhabiting the humanity. On the other hand, Joseph Carlson gives a landmark performance as Stanley, all raw animal, while still vulnerable. Lauren Marie Hafner’s Stella sensitively strikes the perfect balance between them. Director Tawnya Pettiford-Wates has established a strong base, while the jazz ensemble and slo-mo staging add poetic moments (why was the singer only in Act 2?). Edwin Slipek’s set was serviceable, although the projections were a needless distraction. Andrew Bonniwell’s lighting added mood, while Devario Simmons’ costumes for Stella were lovely. (There’s a gap in the backstage curtain that reveals behind the scenes activity.)

 

THE POINT: Even with the overstated creation of Blanche, this production is effective, thanks largely to Joseph Carlson’s landmark performance.

 

4 out of 5 stars (4 / 5)

 

At Firehouse Theatre thru 5/17

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