Ever since Vanessa Redgrave unearthed Tennessee Williams' Not About Nightingales, it's been the vogue to resurrect neglected and early one acts and short plays by the Glass Menagerie and A Streetcar Named Desire playwright. Los Angeles will get six doses of obscure Williams June 29-Aug. 4 when the Blue Sphere stages Six by Tenn, an evening of rarely performed short pieces.
Tony nominee Jonelle Allen (Joseph Papp's musical Two Gentlemen of Verona) connects the six plays with musical interludes between each and stars in Portrait of a Madonna. That play is about a lonely middle-aged woman who clings to reality only through the illusion that helps her survive.
Also on the bill are:
This Property Is Condemned, once made into a film with a young Robert Redford
Talk to Me Like the Rain and Let Me Listen, in which a woman is periodically abandoned by her lover
Moony's Kid Don't Cry, about a young father struggling with feelings of entrapment with his baby and the baby's mother
Auto-de-Fe, in which a young man fights his sexual obsessions and his fundamentalist mother
Hello from Bertha, in which a dying prostitute wants to be remembered by the only man she ever loved
Joining Allen in the various casts are Earl Carroll, Mark Collier, Tony Lee, Tony Forsyth, Celeste Massimei, Tim Karasawa, Crystal Robison, Marissa Parker, Adrian Mante, Devin Price, Damon Shalit, Barbara Gruen, Ann Patrich and Erica Clare. Anthony Barnao directs. Artistic director of Blue Sphere, Barnao is also a casting director, who most recent work includes the new series, "The Beast."
Tickets are $15. The Blue Sphere Alliance at the Lex is located at 6760 Lexington Avenue in Hollywood. For reservations, call (323) 930-9304.
— By Christine Ehren