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9/27/13

This Chart Explains How I Feel About The Glass Menagerie


I'm sorry, were you expecting an actual breakdown? Because I can't even say aloud The Glass Menagerie - playing at the Booth Theater - without euphoric feelings of, "OMG, so flawless, I can't even..."

And we all know when I trot out the hyperbolic internet memes, I am in love.

You see, I could write my standard 1000-ish word review of the show, just like it were any other production opening. Except, in this instance, 1000 words wouldn't be enough - my review would be the length of a grad student's dissertation. I mean, 1000 words could detail my love for Tennessee Williams' ahead-of-its time thematic elements and nuanced story (Amanda, mother of Tom and Laura, tasks Tom to find a date for the disabled Laura), characters and language. Another 1000 words could detail Bob Crowley's GOR-JUS set design, with the iconic fire escape in the distance and the stage surrounded with a dark body of water, the first of many "memory play" motifs (the entire production, rightly so, screams "I am a MEMORY PLAY, BITCHES"). Some 500 words or so would be dolled out to Natasha Katz' impeccable lighting design, which frames the subjects beautifully and from certain angles, the characters look as if they are suspended in darkness or emerging from the depths of one's mind. Like, woah.


I could write about all of that, just for starters. But I wouldn't omit the portion of the review where I'd write about Nico Muhly's pitch-perfect orchestrations that resonate with each scene so organically, like any great score should. What else...well, a novel would be spent describing John Tiffany's spot-on and emotionally-affecting direction, which simultaneously pays homage to minimal, subtle theater of yore while also rendering the feel of the show to be ethereal, engrossing and "period modern" (period piece that feels modern...it makes sense in my brain). 

And the closing words of my review would provide a commentary on the masterclass of acting from its four-person ensemble. Like how Cherry Jones' Amanda is MerylStreepian and Zachary Quinto channels Tennessee Williams' spirit and internal coming-of-ageness in Tom (one of the few instances where Williams wrote himself into one of his works). Naturally, I would point out how Celia Keenan-Bolger - proving that she is one mighty little versatile actress (in the truest sense of every descriptor) - is all child-like innocence and internal damage as Laura. And Brian J. Smith managed to do the impossible: turning the gentleman caller, Jim, into someone indicative of flawed humanity. The character's condescending nature has caused me to nickname him Maximus Condescendicus, so Smith deserves all the credit I can offer for the simple fact that I don't want to kick him in the balls.

You see, I can write about The Glass Menagerie and pretty much do a live-transcript of the show, minute-by-minute. I really want so, except I'll be here writing away until summer solstice. But I really do want to and that should say something. So no, no breakdown of The Glass Menagerie. I'll just be over here planning my next outing to the show and updating my Tony list(s).

Oh wait...what just happened? *Not-So-Discreet Wink*


Photo Credit: Michael J. Lutch

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