"Etched in the shadows of a man's memory, it comes alive in terms of words, motion . . . turns the theater into a place of increasing enchantment" (Chicago Tribune).
". . .it captures the eye and the mind like one of Laura’s glass figurines—something you turn this way and that in order to catch the light of your own memories of family and heartache and all the changes that led up to the moment in which you had to leave, the better to become yourself" (The New Yorker)
" . . .belongs on the same exclusive shelf as Long Day’s Journey Into Night and Death of a Salesman. . . . It is not a lovely little memory play; it’s a great memory tragedy” (NYT)
“The Glass Menagerie in one stroke lifted lyricism to its highest level in theatre’s history” (Arthur Miller, playwright).
THE GLASS MENAGERIE
by Tennessee Williams
OCTOBER 12 - NOVEMBER 3
Jewish Community Center
"Etched in the shadows of a man's memory," a mother--overbearing, pathetic, "toweringly gallant." A sister--trusting, delicate, otherworldly. And in the man's memory, his younger self, restless, dreamy, selfish, desperate to get away.
These are the unforgettable characters who give life to one of the most beloved masterpieces of all time: The Glass Menagerie. It was in this, that audiences first encountered Tennessee Williams, whose distinctive gift for revealing both the lyrical and the brutal in each of us, "forged a poetic theatre of raw psychological insight that . . . transformed the American stage."
The Glass Menagerie takes us into the lives of the Wingfield family--a mother and her two adult children living in a dingy apartment in Depression-era St. Louis, abandoned long ago by the patriarch, a telephone company employee who "fell in love with long distances." On the brink of economic disaster, with the family supported only by son Tom's meager factory salary, Amanda is intrepid in her efforts to find a husband for her alarmingly introverted daughter, Laura, and to drive her poet-son to further ambitions in the world of business, a world he despises.
The play is narrated by Tom; the time is "now and the past," two realities--or illusions--that he must cross between to tell the story. The delicate mechanism of memory sometimes conflicts with the perspective of years, so this older Tom remembers those times and is caught "with the mother and sister that he loathes and loves with all his confused heart." Three people, profoundly isolated, intimately connected, trapped by circumstance.
"Truth in the pleasant disguise of illusion," spoken from a "world that's lit by lightning." This, says the Narrator, is what he will give us. In a way, it's the essence of all the works that Tennessee Williams blessed us with.