At Hammond High, an intense `Streetcar'

Show: Julia Joseph powerfully plays Blanche DuBois in the student production of `A Streetcar Named Desire.'


Howard Live

January 15, 2004|By Laura Whittenberger | Laura Whittenberger,CENTENNIAL HIGH SCHOOL

In a whirling burst of passionate desire, the streetcar travels through Hammond High School.

An intense, haunting performance of A Streetcar Named Desire at Hammond left the audience sitting awed in their seats, waiting in suspense for each scene.

Blanche DuBois, love-ravaged and hopeless, takes refuge in her sister Stella's small house.

Events lead to many heart-wrenching arguments and beatings, and Blanche's developing despair becomes increasingly evident as the play progresses.

Actress Julia Joseph powerfully plays Blanche, portraying the deep, insecure character very effectively. Through use of clear, motivated movements and monologues, Miss Joseph creates a character that is quite genuine. Aching for (and against) Blanche seems necessary, and the rest of the characters help paint the desperate scene.

Among the supportive and interesting characterizations represented is that of actress Ariel Frelich in the role of Stella. Her character's consistent and angelic nature shows through her strong character choices. Miss Frelich's overall demeanor, including her facial expressions, gait and vocal tone, represents a very commendable interpretation of Stella.

One of the most moving and special parts of the show is trumpeter Jeremy Embrey's playing in one of the scenes. His Harmon-muted sound creates just the right effect after a dramatic scene, and its subtlety is both memorable and meaningful.

Although there were several microphone glitches, and some actors could have articulated more clearly, the sound and audibility were well done.

The wild carnival music and streetcar sounds were well placed at the end of the show, seeming to come right from Blanche's mind. The stage crew was quick and efficient doing its job - capable and prepared. Lighting in the morning scene was effective. As a whole, the backstage crew did its job supporting the actors.

"Money just ... money just goes places," explains Blanche. If you like intense, passionate theater, spend your money to see Hammond High School's A Streetcar Named Desire. Stella asks, "Haven't you ever ridden that streetcar before?"

Hammond High School presented A Streetcar Named Desire on Nov. 14, 15, 21 and 22.

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