The Glass Menagerie, With Cherry Jones, Zachary Quinto and Celia Keenan-Bolger, Opens on Broadway
By Adam Hetrick
Tony Award winner Cherry Jones, Tony nominee Celia Keenan-Bolger and Zachary Quinto are a family adrift in a sea of memory in the Broadway revival of Tennessee Williams' acclaimed 1945 drama The Glass Menagerie, which officially opens Sept. 26 at the Booth Theatre.
The Glass Menagerie returns to Broadway following an engagement at the American Repertory Theater last winter. Critics praised the production. The Broadway engagement, which began previews Sept. 5, is currently scheduled through Jan. 5, 2014. This is the seventh staging of The Glass Menagerie to be produced on Broadway.
Tony Award-winning director John Tiffany and Tony-winning designer Bob Crowley set Williams' memory play about an overbearing mother and her fragile daughter, inspired by the playwright's own mother and sister, over a pool of reflective black liquid that surrounds the Wingfield apartment. Underscored by the music of composer Nico Muhly, Tiffany's production is filled with moments of theatrical magic.
"At its best, stage design works metaphorically," designer Crowley said in a recent interview with Playbill.com. "But we wanted to find a different kind of metaphor and we talked about a lot of them — installation art and stuff like that — and then we decided: What if [the family] were completely isolated — completely at sea — in time? I was trying to find something tangible about looking back and memory." Read the full feature here.
Jones, who plays Amanda Wingfield, earned Tony Awards for The Heiress and Doubt. "I've never enjoyed performing anything as much in my life," Jones told Playbill.com. "I've never gotten the rush that I get performing Amanda Wingfield. This cast… We're not close; we are exceptionally close — as people — and, obviously, it is one of the most intimate units of characters that have ever been written in the American theatre. To be doing [the show] with [director] John Tiffany — whom I really, truly believe is at least kind of a genius — it's just been, of my 30-some-odd years in the theatre, the most exquisite production that I've ever had the privilege of working on." Read more of the interview here.
The cast also features Quinto (Angels in America, "Star Trek") as the play's narrator Tom, Keenan-Bolger (Peter and the Starcatcher, Spelling Bee) as Laura and Brian J. Smith (The Columnist, Come Back Little Sheba) as the Gentleman Caller.
"To play Tom—which is the clearest distillation of Tennessee Williams himself—at this time in my life is perfect," Quinto added. "I'm just a little older than he was when he wrote the play, so I'm in very close relationship to a lot of the themes and issues he was struggling with that led him to this play. To me, that's a great gift as an actor—to enter into a role and an experience with that kind of foundation." Read the full interview here.
The Glass Menagerie reunites Tiffany's Tony Award-winning Once creative team. In addition to scenic and costume design by Crowley, it has lighting design by Natasha Katz and sound design by Clive Goodwin. Movement is by Steven Hoggett.
According to producers, "Amanda Wingfield (Jones) is a southern belle past her prime, living with two grown children in a small apartment in St. Louis. Amanda dreams of a better life for her shy and crippled daughter Laura (Keenan-Bolger), and so she pushes her son Tom (Quinto) to find a 'gentleman caller' for the girl. However, the arrival of the gentleman caller (Smith) sends shockwaves through the family, and causes cracks to form in the delicate fantasies that have kept them going. A beautiful play full of poetry and longing, The Glass Menagerie makes its triumphant return to Broadway in an exquisite and groundbreaking new production."
The last New York production of Menagerie was in 2010, starring Tony Award winner Judith Ivey. The Roundbout Theatre Company transferred that production, which premiered at the Long Wharf Theatre.
This revival is produced by Jeffrey Richards and John N. Hart, and the A.R.T.
Tickets can be purchased at Telecharge.com, by calling (212) 239-6200, or at the box office of the Booth Theatre, which is located at 222 W. 45th Street.
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