The Glass Menagerie to Close on Broadway July 3

By Robert Simonson
17 Jun 2005

The Broadway production of Tennessee Williams' enduring memory play The Glass Menagerie, starring Jessica Lange and Christian Slater, will close on July 3. It will have played 30 previews and 119 performances.



The show, which opened to particularly severe reviews, was to have played a limited run until July 17.

It has not been a kind week for classics on Broadway. On June 16, the revival of Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? began advertising "final weeks."

Joey Collins recently assumed the role of The Gentleman Caller in Menagerie. He replaced Josh Lucas, who exited the drama June 5. Collins will finish out the run.

Collins received some stage time in the drama earlier this year, when he played Tom Wingfield during the period in between the dismissal of the original Tom, Dallas Roberts, and the first performance of Roberts' replacement, Christian Slater.

Slater is still with the show, as is Lange as the genteel, yet overwhelming Southern Belle mother Amanda Wingfield and Sarah Paulson as the crippled and cripplingly shy Laura Wingfield.

David Leveaux directs. Natasha Katz executes the show's often expressionistic lighting, with Jon Weston doing sound, and Tom Pye fashioning the period costumes. Pye also provides the spartan set: a couch, a lamp, a phonograph, a typewriter, and, of course, Laura's menagerie. Particularly prominent in Pye's design are a black metal fire escape (euphemistically called a porch by the family) and an apartment-dividing lace curtain.

The Glass Menagerie premiered on Broadway at the Playhouse Theatre in 1945. Directed by Eddie Dowling and Margo Jones, the original production featured Laurette Taylor as Amanda, Eddie Dowling as Tom, Julie Haydon as Laura and Anthony Ross as Jim. The play was Williams' first to be successfully produced and made the playwright's reputation. The show also provided a late-career showcase for stage great Laurette Taylor, who died eight months after the work premiered on Broadway.