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The Glass Menagerie

Hit or Miss

The Glass Menagerie

Proving Jeff wrong for once, I’m actually going to blog about something we saw and not just leave it up to him to document it.

We saw a new production of The Glass Menagerie, starring Jessica Lange & Christian Slater and directed by David Leveaux, last night. I found the performances to be overly mannered (except for Slater, a late addition to the cast who seemed to be in a completely different play), which only reinforced my dim view of the creaky old text.

And, as Jeff quoted me, Leveaux’s direction was “so fucking unsubtle.” A bare spotlight on the shelf of glass animals on the darkened stage? Come on. That’s something a high school theatre production would do.

This was a completely colorless production… literally. Many items referred to in the text (like the rose-colored floor lamp or the colorful glass animals) were simply white or clear glass. The one spot of color was an enormous wall stage right, which would unpredictably turn blue. And don’t get me started on the band of fluorescent lights that ringed the playing area…

The one bright spot was the sound direction and use of period music, except for the bizarrely-scored interstitial music cues of wine glasses being played.

Tomorrow we’re seeing Doubt, which is already generating a lot of “Best Play” Tony buzz.

3 responses so far (Respond)


the replaced Dallas Roberts is my old boss’s partner, and I have to wonder if this really talented actor wasn’t spared a real resume scarring experience in this production, no matter how brilliant he was in it…. For solidarity’s sake, however, I can’t actually see for myself, alas.

jonwcollins | 11 Mar 2005

DOUBT was terrific off-broadway and I hope it translates well to a larger space.

Jere | 11 Mar 2005

That’s my Matt. The truest theatrical critic that I have ever known. And he’s good… oh yes, he’s good. I should check this site more often. Good poop.

Lauren | 19 Mar 2005