New in 2017 Two-time Academy Award winner Sally Field stars in a revival of Tennessee Williams' memory play that revolves around a young man begrudgingly supporting the family his father has abandoned.
From the producers: "The Glass Menagerie" is the play that brought a brilliant young writer named Tennessee Williams to national attention when it premiered on Broadway in 1945. More than seventy years later, Williams’ most personal work for the stage continues to captivate and overwhelm audiences around the world.
"The Glass Menagerie" premiered in 1944 and catapulted author Tennessee Williams from obscurity to fame. The play has strong autobiographical elements, featuring characters based on Williams himself, his histrionic mother, and his mentally fragile sister Rose. The play premiered in Chicago in 1944, followed by a transfer to Broadway where it won the New York Drama Critics Circle Award in 1945. Two Hollywood film versions were produced in 1950 and 1987.
Sally Field previously played the role of Southern matriarch Amanda Wingfield in 2004 for the Kennedy Center. She made her Broadway debut in the replacement cast of "The Goat, or Who Is Sylvia?" and won Academy Awards for her performances in "Norma Rae" and "Places in the Heart." In this production, she shares the stage with Joe Mantello, Finn Wittrock and Madison Ferris.
What's Lincoln Center Theater? One of the largest and most prominent non-profit theaters in the city, LCT has three state-of-the-art venues at Lincoln Center, and occasionally produces shows in the theater district proper. On rare occasions the fare is controversial, but as a matter of course, it's the best-regarded theatrical producing organization in the city. The company's LTC3 initiative is devoted to producing the work of new artists and building new audiences. More here.
In a bold experiment that's often riveting but seldom wholly satisfying, director Gold rips away illusion like a bandage off a wound. Despite some fine work from the actors, you end up being moved more by the sheer resilience of the writing than by the intrusive presentation. The result is one of the most hauntingly lyrical dramas in the American canon transformed into a blunt dysfunctional family play in which indelible melancholy gets trampled by anger and bitterness.
Asking an audience to use its imagination is a good thing, but sometimes there's a gap too far. Ultimately, in this production, the woes of the Wingfield family take second place to the experience of watching the bravery and determination of a young actress, and perhaps to ponder the wider difficulty people with disabilities have in being cast - even to play people with disabilities.