The Cincinnati Shakespeare Company just finished its run of Tennessee Williams’ The Glass Menagerie – which I just managed to see on its second last day.
I love the Shakes repertory company’s plays almost always. The upfront ways they present the classics. The exuberance of the company. And especially with this one, the way they found humor in the writing, and brought it to us – most particularly in the ‘love scene’ with Laura and the gentleman caller.
One interesting technique was the use of projections on a screen behind the play – showing us the absent father occasionally, then words and phrases and visuals to expand our understanding.
Tennesse Williams left these questions wide open in his concept of the play. As always, these creative moves on the part of the Company left Jackie Demaline of the Enquirer quite cold.
After nearly 10 years of being a subscriber, I can’t remember any totally positive reviews by our daily paper. Very rarely, an actor or perhaps part of a set will meet with approval. I had made the mistake of reading the review before attending, and so had imbibed those negative feelings.
What a treat to get there and find it to be the best of the Williams’ plays I have seen in various theaters around town. The set, the screen, the acting, the staging – all met with my approval. And the play itself, while still pretty much a downer, as I’ve found all of his plays to be, had much humanity and honesty in it.
I will probably not see it again no matter where it shows up – but am glad I got to see this crew turn in a fine performance.