LOS ANGELES -- The tragic late career of Tennessee Williams is the subject of a play by Joe Besecker which has its its Los Angeles premiere June 27, after starting previews the night before at the Egyptian Arena Theatre. The show was supposed to open June 19 but was postponed due to a cast change, with film actress Kay Lenz coming into the production.
Tennessee in the Summer looks at the psychological and sexual demons which haunted the legendary American playwright.
Bird in the Hand, a new production company formed by co-producers Louise Robbins Davis and Lisa Robins, is presenting the play, in association with The New Ventura Theatre Project.
"In the summer of 1972, in a sweltering New York City hotel room, plagued by sex, alcohol and bordering on insanity, Williams battles it out with his alter ego in a desperate effort to continue writing," said a company spokesperson. "Driven, due to recent crushing theatrical failures, to redeem himself and regain the esteem he so treasures...he continues to distract himself with 'the kindness of strangers.'"
The playwright has split Williams in two: with two performers playing the male and female sides of his warring nature; and two others playing the various characters who inhabit his reality, dreams and nightmares. Time and space are fluid in Besecker's tribute to a theatrical giant. Robert Burgos directs. Through Aug. 2 at the Egyptian Arena, 1631 N. Las Palmas Ave. in Hollywood. Perfs. are Fri. & Sat. eve at 8 PM; Sun. at 2 & 7 PM. Tickets are $15; discounts for seniors, students and members of the 4A's. Call (213) 303-3231.
-- By Willard Manus
Southern California Correspondent