Sunday, October 07, 2007

Suddenly, Last Summer

I attended a tremendously well-acted and powerful performance of this short play by Tennessee Williams last evening. This production by the Shattered Globe Theatre at the Victory Gardens Greenhouse Theater was amazing in its intensity. While Linda Reiter stood out in the role of Mrs. Venable (I had previously enjoyed her work in Arcadia at Remy Bumpo), Allison Batty projected a strong portrayal of her nemesis Catharine. The rest of the ensemble was equally convincing in this searing and emotionally-draining play. The set was perfect as a New Orleans hothouse that bolstered the raw emotions that would build to the terrible climactic scene of the play. This play relies on the two main characters to narrate the story of the Ghost of Sebastian Venable whose death was the pivotal event for both their lives. The actors were able to handle that difficult task with an intensity that made this performance a success. In performances like this Williams' plays take on an epic grandeur befitting one of America's greatest playwrights.

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