photos: Me, duh. :p
As some may have heard, Tennessee Williams’ ‘The Glass Menagerie’ has debuted on Broadway following its successful run in Massachusetts. In my typical fashion, I scored tix as soon as they were available. The play is simple yet powerful, and stars only 4 actors; Zachary Quinto, Cherry Jones, Celia Keenan-Bolger, and Brian J. Smith. It’s a dream-like recount of events in Tom Wingfield’s (Quinto) past which lead him to make choices both necessary and heartbreaking, trapped as he feels by his familial obligations as the “man of the house”.
Never having read Tennessee’s work or seen productions of it, I went into ‘The Glass Menagerie’ completely cold, just how I wanted it. I felt it was important that I get the full effect of the play by having no preconceptions and I’m so glad I made that decision! The play starts somber but then lifts you up…only to send you crashing back down. It’s life represented truly. 99% of the time, I’m in favor of the HEA (Happily Ever After) because life is depressing enough without having reality woven throughout my distractions. I can’t say I minded the opposite of that in this play as it was done so damned well!
To be honest, Zachary Quinto was the initial draw for me and he definitely lived up to my expectations. There also wasn’t a single aspect of any of the other actors’ performances that I felt didn’t FIT. The stand out, though, was Cherry Jones as Amanda Wingfield. She’s been in many a film, as a somewhat background actress, but this woman is AMAZING. Flawless and affecting as the nurturing yet stifling mother, calling our attention to issues we all probably have with our own. So clear was her worry for her children’s future, so annoying her lack of ability to simply let things be when she was all too aware of how limited all of their options were. Cherry really blindsides audiences in the best way and Keenan-Bolger’s turn as Tom’s crippled sister, Laura, was similarly poignant.
For all my praise of Cherry Jones, I was unable to “stage-door” her i.e. the act of waiting to meet actors as they leave the theatre. Why? Well, I’m sure she came out, but I was too busy shaking after having a mere 4 inches between me and ZQ after “stage-dooring” him! You could say that I “needed an adult” despite actually being an adult. *fans self in remembrance* And what is there to even say about him?! We’ll just leave it at “talented” and throw in the “hot as hell” for good measure. Even though he had somewhere to be between engagements (I was at the Saturday afternoon performance vs. the evening one), he was still gracious enough to give the fans a good 15 minutes of his time before dashing off with a small luggage and his handler in tow. Both Celia and Brian J. Smith were equally thrilled at our little crowd so, I can only imagine that Ms. Jones was as well.
If you find yourself in NYC, get thee to ‘The Glass Menagerie’ and you won’t regret the money spent. The Booth theatre is quaint and intimate, oozing that old school Broadway flair, while the play is, of course, full of excellent performances. Not to mention that you get to lavish personal praise on the actors afterwards which always makes for an extra satisfying experience.
‘The Glass Menagerie’ has been extended through to February 23, 2014, tickets available here.