Archikulture Digest

The Glass Menagerie

The Glass Menagerie

By Tennessee Williams

Directed by Beth Marshall

Beth Marshall Presents

The Garden Theatre, Winter Garden FL</strong>

Things were always better in the old days – the winters colder, the women more beautiful, the jobs better and better paying. In the case of Amanda Wingfield (Cami Miller) those were the halcyon days on the plantation where she was besieged by gentlemen callers, a polite euphemism for men who might marry her and put up with her brand of crazy. Her lucky suitor was the last-name-only Mr. Wingfield, “a telephone man in love with long distance.” The marriage produced hard working, hard drinking Tom (Anthony Pyatt) and the fragile, crippled and introverted Amanda (Annaliese Moon). If only someone would ask her out and quickly marry her before the issues with this family became clear. That task almost falls on energetic and ambitions Jim (Zack Lane) who works the warehouse with Tom and studies Radio Engineering at night. He’s a keeper, and unfortunately for Laura, someone else is already keeping him.

Dim, moody and a bit depressing, this is the play that put author Williams on the map of great American Letters. In some ways it’s ageless, but in others it’s a glimpse into a different theatrical age. Tom informs us this is a memory play; it’s how he recalls things but he admits the accuracy might be suspect. Pyatt looks like a man that might play fast and loose with truth, assuming there is any, and from the minute he steps in to the dim light there’s no question his destiny lies elsewhere. Ms. Miller offers us the characture of a southern belle gone to seed. It’s a true tragic-comic moment when she appears in the aged and out-of-fashion flounces from her glory days and plays the part of a bubble headed heiress as she desperately attempts to sell her daughter and hoodwink Jim. Ms. Moon, for her part, has a distinct tick and more flaws than just a limp leg. Her world is one of fear and embarrassment and while she knows she has no social skills, she doesn’t want any, either. And as for Jim, he’s a truly nice man, polite and friendly but also not dumb enough to fall for the sales job. Television might be ten years in the future, but he’s the man with foresight and drive. All of these dreams float above a clever set with key lines of text projected on the risers and the walls. The sources are well hidden and as dreamlike as the action in this sad tale. The show runs long; it’s near on to 11 when all over, but that’s about as long as Amanda can keep her hope alive. Please do not grudge her the time.

For more information on The Garden Theatre, please visit www.gardentheatre.org

For more information on Beth Marshall Presents visit http://bethmarshallpresents.wordpress.com/


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