"To Begin With, I Turn Back Time": A Look at the History of The Glass Menagerie

By Carey Purcell
08 May 2014

Cherry Jones and Celia Keenan-Bolger
Photo by Michael J. Lutch
The Glass Menagerie has been revived frequently; subsequent productions were mounted in 1965, 1975, 1983, 1994 and 2005, with the likes of Jessica Tandy, Julie Harris and Jessica Lange playing Amanda Wingfield, and Christian Slater, Željko Ivanek and Bruce Davison playing the poetic son Tom. None of the productions garnered any nominations from Tony voters.

The 2013 revival, directed by John Tiffany, with movement direction by Steven Hoggett, transferred to Broadway from the American Repertory Theater in Cambridge, MA. The cast featured Tony Award winner Cherry Jones as Amanda, Zachary Quinto in his Broadway debut as Tom, Tony nominee Celia Keenan-Bolger as Laura and Brian J. Smith as The Gentleman Caller.

Read Playbill.com's Brief Encounter with Cherry Jones here, and read Celia Keenan-Bolger's interview, where she discusses playing the frail, shy Laura, here

The production presented a new physical interpretation of the set that featured dream-like movement in the scenes and replaced the cramped apartment set with platforms that were surrounded by pools of dark liquid. The Glass Menagerie received positive reviews, with many noting the strong performances of the ensemble as well as the inventive new staging.

Read critics' reviews of The Glass Menagerie here

The production received seven Tony nominations: Best Revival, Best Actress (Jones), Best Featured Actress (Keenan-Bolger), Best Featured Actor (Smith), Best Direction (Tiffany), Best Lighting Design (Natasha Katz) and Best Scenic Design (Bob Crowley).

It looks like Tennessee Williams has found that "long-delayed but always expected something" at  last.