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By Joan Mellen and Joan Mellen,SPECIAL TO THE SUN | October 22, 1995
"Tom: The Unknown Tennessee Williams," by Lyle Leverich. New York: Crown. 644 pages. $35"Baby, you write it!" playwright Tennessee Williams wisely told theatrical producer Lyle Leverich. "Tom: The Unknown Tennessee Williams," the first of two volumes, is a masterpiece of biography, exquisitely written, and psychologically acute. Despite being authorized by Williams, "Tom" is frank in its exploration of its subject's frailties all the while remaining compassionate. This is not hagiography.
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By Tim Smith, The Baltimore Sun | September 14, 2013
How easily things get broken. Not just fragile things, like little glass figurines, but the less tangible things clutched most tightly, cherished most deeply - dreams, passions, ideals. Everyone in the Tennessee Williams classic "The Glass Menagerie," which has been given a subtle and affecting revival to open Everyman Theatre 's season, gets shattered in one way or another before the play ends with the gentle extinguishing of candles. Williams created some of his most enduring and, yes, endearing characters in this semi-autobiographical, self-described "memory play" about a small family caught up in illusions and tensions that don't seem resolvable.
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ENTERTAINMENT
By Tim Smith, The Baltimore Sun | September 14, 2013
How easily things get broken. Not just fragile things, like little glass figurines, but the less tangible things clutched most tightly, cherished most deeply - dreams, passions, ideals. Everyone in the Tennessee Williams classic "The Glass Menagerie," which has been given a subtle and affecting revival to open Everyman Theatre 's season, gets shattered in one way or another before the play ends with the gentle extinguishing of candles. Williams created some of his most enduring and, yes, endearing characters in this semi-autobiographical, self-described "memory play" about a small family caught up in illusions and tensions that don't seem resolvable.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Tim Smith, The Baltimore Sun | September 6, 2013
The first voice in Tennessee Williams' "The Glass Menagerie" belongs to Tom Wingfield, a budding poet trapped in a boring day job. Serving as guide through the playwright's exquisitely crafted layers of memory and anxiety, Tom dispenses "truth in the pleasant disguise of illusion. " For its season-opening production of this certified classic of the American stage, Everyman Theatre has cast one of its most versatile and gifted resident artists, Clinton Brandhagen, as Tom. "I had to read the play in high school," the Calgary-born Brandhagen, 36, said, "but I never looked at it again.
FEATURES
By Tim Smith and Tim Smith,SUN MUSIC CRITIC | March 5, 2003
WASHINGTON - A French festival, the Berlin Philharmonic, a 10-week retrospective of Tennessee Williams, an all-star lineup at the National Symphony Orchestra, the Kirov Opera and Ballet, the New York City Ballet, the Royal Shakespeare Company, a showcase for music conservatory students, and a sing-along Wizard of Oz. Just a fraction of the cultural attractions slated for 2003-2004 at the Kennedy Center, clearly one of the few arts organizations in the...
ENTERTAINMENT
By J. Wynn Rousuck and J. Wynn Rousuck,Sun Theater Critic | April 11, 2004
They're usually Southern, generally outsiders, often fragile, narcissistic, living in the past and, above all, very feminine. They are the classic heroines in the plays of Tennessee Williams, whose work is being celebrated in "Tennessee Williams Explored," a four-month festival at Washington's Kennedy Center. Highlighted by new all-star productions of A Streetcar Named Desire, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof and The Glass Menagerie, the festival gets under way tomorrow with a symposium titled "Women of Tennessee."
FEATURES
By J. Wynn Rousuck and J. Wynn Rousuck,SUN THEATER CRITIC | September 23, 1998
In her production of "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof," director Molly Smith has attempted to adhere to Tennessee Williams' intentions, staging his rarely produced original ending. It's a bold and admirable effort with many illuminating moments.The production marks Smith's debut as artistic director of Washington's Arena Stage, and for the most part, this is a "Cat" that purrs.But while the playwright's intent may be clearer -- in that the characters seem more consistent and unbending -- two disappointing lead performances mute the overall effect.
FEATURES
By J. Wynn Rousuck and J. Wynn Rousuck,SUN THEATER CRITIC | May 23, 1998
Tennessee Williams always objected to the original Broadway production of "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof," in which director Elia Kazan injected a note of hope into the third act.In his 1955 published script, the playwright explained that he felt the "moral paralysis" of Brick, the male lead, "was a root thing in his tragedy," unlikely to undergo a sudden change of heart.With that in mind, one of the most impressive aspects of the powerful production at Everyman Theatre is that director Vincent Lancisi has managed to have it both ways.
NEWS
By Mary Johnson and Mary Johnson,Special to The Baltimore Sun | April 26, 2009
The opening night of AACC's Moonlight Troupers' production of The Glass Menagerie drew an audience of 46 at Pascal Center for Performing Arts - smaller than the cast deserved. Theatergoers who chose to skip this early Tennessee Williams work because of its familiarity, having played in the county the past two springs, might have been surprised by this unusual version. The production was carried by the professionalism of the cast, but the presentation was at times incongruous, if not frustrating, because of the unusual musical selections and set design.
FEATURES
By J. Wynn Rousuck and J. Wynn Rousuck,SUN THEATER CRITIC | March 21, 1997
Tennessee Williams' "The Glass Menagerie" is narrated by the playwright's alter ego, Tom, and revolves around the character of Laura, but the play really belongs to their mother. And in Center Stage's current production, Pamela Payton-Wright's portrayal of her sparkles even brighter than the glistening glass animals in Laura's menagerie.Payton-Wright makes Amanda Wingfield remarkably sympathetic. She's not the martyr or harridan as she is so often portrayed. Relatively young and still full of life, this is a woman driven by maternal love.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Michael Sragow, The Baltimore Sun | May 23, 2010
You might think you know John Waters, but until you read his latest book, "Role Models" - well, to quote Jeremy Irons' Claus von Bulow, "You have no idea. " Waters avidly links his "Baltimore heroes," like the lesbian stripper Lady Zorro ("My kind of burlesque queen"), to far-flung friends and influences. They include "genius fashion dictator" Rei Kawakubo, who once brought him to Paris to model her work, and "outsider pornographers" like David Hurles. They also include artists and entertainers as popular as Johnny Mathis and as widely acclaimed as the psychological novelist Lionel Shriver ("We Need to Talk About Kevin")
ENTERTAINMENT
By Michael Sragow, The Baltimore Sun | May 21, 2010
You might think you know John Waters, but until you read his latest book, "Role Models" — well, to quote Jeremy Irons' Claus von Bulow, "You have no idea." Waters avidly links his "Baltimore heroes," like the lesbian stripper Lady Zorro ("My kind of burlesque queen"), to far-flung friends and influences. They include "genius fashion dictator" Rei Kawakubo, who once brought him to Paris to model her work, and "outsider pornographers" like David Hurles. They also include artists and entertainers as popular as Johnny Mathis and as widely acclaimed as the psychological novelist Lionel Shriver ("We Need to Talk About Kevin")
NEWS
By Mary Johnson and Mary Johnson,Special to The Baltimore Sun | April 26, 2009
The opening night of AACC's Moonlight Troupers' production of The Glass Menagerie drew an audience of 46 at Pascal Center for Performing Arts - smaller than the cast deserved. Theatergoers who chose to skip this early Tennessee Williams work because of its familiarity, having played in the county the past two springs, might have been surprised by this unusual version. The production was carried by the professionalism of the cast, but the presentation was at times incongruous, if not frustrating, because of the unusual musical selections and set design.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Alexandra Fenwick and Alexandra Fenwick,SUN STAFF | July 22, 2004
Jennifer Dundas is no shrinking violet. The New York actress, who will play the painfully shy Laura Wingfield alongside Sally Field in The Glass Menagerie in the Kennedy Center's "Tennessee Williams Explored" series, is outwardly nothing like the character she is set to portray. Dundas is full of life. When she laughs during a phone interview, you can almost hear the smile in her voice. So imagine her surprise when, upon winning the part, a friend exclaimed, "`Oh my god, that's perfect for you, you were made to play that part!
ENTERTAINMENT
By Mary Carole McCauley and Mary Carole McCauley,SUN ARTS WRITER | May 6, 2004
Talk about pressure. Twenty-eight-year-old Adam Rothenberg is grappling with one of the American theater's iconic stage roles -- the charismatic, brutish Stanley Kowalski in Tennessee Williams' A Streetcar Named Desire -- a role made famous by none other than Marlon Brando. Rothenberg, a relatively unknown performer with only five professional credits on his resume, will share the stage with a certified star, the Emmy Award-winning Patricia Clarkson. She portrays Blanche Dubois. Nor is this just any old production.
FEATURES
By J. Wynn Rousuck and J. Wynn Rousuck,SUN THEATER CRITIC | April 24, 2004
Tennessee Williams is best known for grand portraits on broad canvases. But he also sketched smaller works. Five of his one-acts - including four world premieres - make up Five by Tenn, the opening production in the Kennedy Center's "Tennessee Williams Explored" festival. Although none is a masterpiece, each offers insights into the characters and themes of Williams' greatest plays. The writer's three most famous plays will be the festival's main attractions. But Williams aficionados will want to take advantage of this rare opportunity to see a sampling of the playwright's exploratory, experimental and mostly unknown short works.
FEATURES
By J. Wynn Rousuck and J. Wynn Rousuck,SUN THEATER CRITIC | June 2, 1998
Tennessee Williams' "Sweet Bird of Youth" is about the ravages of age. At its core are a once-glamorous movie star, running from what she perceives as a failed comeback, and her gigolo, a would-be star whose only asset -- his youth -- is fading faster than he can keep up with it.But as is clear from Michael Kahn's production at Washington's Shakespeare Theatre, this 1959 play is itself a faded star. And despite the larger-than-life presence of Elizabeth Ashley as the waning movie diva, as well as Kahn's well-chosen emphasis on the play's more symbolic and stagy elements, Williams' script comes across as melodramatic, instead of tragic.
FEATURES
October 25, 1998
Tennessee Williams(1911-1983)Otherwise known as Thomas Lanier, Williams was born in rural Mississippi. He experienced serious tensions as a young man because of his homosexuality and his family's financial circumstances. For these reasons, Williams used writing as an outlet.He wrote the autobiographical play "The Glass Menagerie," treated the theme of homosexuality in "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof," but "A Streetcar Named Desire" won him regard as the leading playwright of his generation.A Reader's Guide to Twentieth Century WritersPub Date: 10/25/98
ENTERTAINMENT
April 22, 2004
Five one-acts by `Tenn' When scholars David Roessel and Nicholas Moschovakis were researching their 2002 book, The Collected Poems of Tennessee Williams, they discovered a cache of 20 unpublished scripts in Williams' archives. Now three of those plays - These Are the Stairs You Got to Watch, Escape and And Tell Sad Stories of the Death of Queens - are receiving their world premieres at Washington's Kennedy Center as part of an evening of one-acts jointly titled Five by Tenn. Opening tonight, this first production in the four-month-long festival, "Tennessee Williams Explored," also includes another world premiere, The Municipal Abattoir.
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