Sunday, December 19, 2004

A Stella Production (a play review)

A Streetcar Named Desire - Raven Theatre - Chicago

This fine production by a small professional theatre group housed in a former grocery story on Chicago's North Side did just about everything I could have wished it would. For just $16 (through HotTix, on which it's been readily available) , it gave me a great introduction to one of America's most iconic plays. Though its title has been familiar since who knows when, I had never seen or read the play, and though I picked up the DVD after Marlon Brando's death earlier this year, I had yet to watch it (other then checking out the "Stella! Stella!" scene). I enjoyed the play at face value, particularly the performances of Liz Fletcher and Dominica Wasilewska as Blance DuBois and Stella Kowalski, respectively. I thought Mike Vieau's Stanley seemed a bit too brutish, without the rogue charm of Brando, and subsequently watching the movie confirmed that thought. But if the worst thing I can say about a $16 play is that the star wasn't as good as Marlon Brando, I'm really being unrealistic. And since seeing the play on Friday night, not only have I watched the movie, but I ordered the book, did a bit of internet research on the play's meaning & message, as well as Tennessee Williams, and am now interested in exploring his works further (having only seen Glass Menagerie some years ago). Not bad for 16 bucks.

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