Goodbye Tennessee: Broadway Revivals of The Glass Menagerie and Streetcar Close Their Shutters July 3

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03 Jul 2005

From Top: Jessica Lange in <I>The Glass Menagerie</I> and Natasha Richardson in <i>A Streetcar Named Desire</i>
From Top: Jessica Lange in The Glass Menagerie and Natasha Richardson in A Streetcar Named Desire
Photo by Paul Kolnik (top) and Joan Marcus

Broadway productions of Tennessee Williams' enduring plays The Glass Menagerie and A Streetcar Named Desire—both starring noted actresses, both interpreted by British directors—will exit town on the same day.

Menagerie, starring Jessica Lange and Christian Slater, will have played 30 previews and 119 performances.

Roundabout Theatre Company's Broadway revival of A Streetcar Named Desire, starring Natasha Richardson, John C. Reilly, Amy Ryan and Chris Bauer, meanwhile, will end its limited running having played 33 previews and 73 performances.

David Leveaux staged the former. Edward Hall piloted the latter. Neither were much applauded by critics for their interpretations.

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

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.

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.

A Streetcar Named Desire, set in the French Quarter of New Orleans, story follows the woes of faded Southern belle Blanche DuBois and her road to madness aided by her brother-in-law, Stanley Kowalski. Reilly wailed the classic Kowalski line "Stella!" to co-star Ryan, who played the expecting sister to Richardson's DuBois. Bauer tackled the role of Stanley's friend and possible match for Blanche, Harold "Mitch" Mitchell.

The cast also featured Wanda L. Houston (as Negro Woman), Kristine Nielsen (Eunice Hubbell), Scott Sowers (Steve Hubbell), Will Toale (Young Collector) and Teresa Yenque (Mexican Woman).

The design team for Streetcar features Robert Brill (sets), William Ivey Long (costumes), Donald Holder (lights) and John Gromada (sound) — who also provides original music. Holder and Long garnered 2005 Tony Award nominations for their work.