Roberta on the Arts
Tennessee Williams' "The Glass Menagerie" at Roundabout at Laura Pels Theatre
Contact Roberta
Jazz and Cabaret Corner
On Location with Roberta
In the Galleries: Artists and Photographers
Backstage with the Playwrights and Filmmakers
Classical and Cultural Connections
New CDs
Arts and Education
Onstage with the Dancers
Offstage with the Dancers
Upcoming Events
Special Events
Memorable Misadventures
Our Sponsors

Tennessee Williams' "The Glass Menagerie" at Roundabout at Laura Pels Theatre

- Backstage with the Playwrights

Ariston Florist
110 West 17th Street,
NY, NY 10011
Fax: 212-242-5479

Family Owned Florist.
The Finest and Freshest
Imported Flowers!
Weddings, Banquets,
Corporate Events
Personal Decorating
Gift Arrangements!
Ask for Theodore.

Roundabout Theatre Company
Todd Haimes, Artistic Director

The Glass Menagerie

By Tennessee Williams
(Tennessee Williams Bio)
Directed by Gordon Edelstein

Harold and Miriam Steinberg Center for Theatre/
Roundabout at Laura Pels Theatre
111 West 46th Street
New York, NY
(Roundabout at Laura Pels Theatre Website)

Patch Darragh as Tom Wingfield
Judith Ivey as Amanda Wingfield
Keira Keeley as Laura Wingfield
Michael Mosley as Jim O’Connor

Set Design: Michael Yeargan
Costume Design: Martin Pakledinaz
Lighting Design: Jennifer Tipton
Sound Design: David Budries
Press: Boneau/Bryan-Brown
Production Stage Manager: Robyn Henry
Casting: James Calleri, CSA
Production Manager: Kai Brothers
General Managers:
Rachel E. Ayers, Nicholas Caccavo
Director of Marketing & Sales Promotion: David B. Steffen
Founding Director: Gene Feist
Associate Artistic Director: Scott Ellis

Dr. Roberta E. Zlokower
March 30, 2010

Five years ago, I reviewed this Tennessee Williams masterpiece, when it was presented with Southern charm and flowery ambiance. Five years ago, Amanda Wingfield was played by Jessica Lange, whose Amanda is far different from Judith Ivey’s Amanda, an overwrought woman from her many disappointments and many lonely nightmares. Ms. Ivey is a tempestuous tyrant, whose dinner orders to Tom Wingfield (Patch Darragh), her alcoholic, writer son, are degrading and domineering. Tom, like everyone else onstage, is a character within his own play in progress, in his own mental meanderings. He sits stage right at a dimly lit desk and pounds his typewriter with pent up frustration. He recalls his years trapped in a warehouse, coming home to a shrill, steel mother and a crippled, terrified sister. Laura Wingfield (Keira Keeley) quit typing school, suffering from low self-esteem, and Amanda is out her hard-earned cash. In fact low self-esteem is one central ailment, afflicting this tortured trio.

The fourth character in the mix is Jim O’Connor (Michael Mosley), the quintessential gentleman-caller, a work pal of Tom, who’s brought home for dinner as a possible match for Laura. Both mother and daughter dress in the finest of what’s available. A tablecloth and candlesticks adorn the shabby table in Tom’s sleazy quarters, that doubles as the Wingfield apartment, in Tom’s rough draft about his turbulent life. Jim is funny, loquacious, and smooth as honey, and Laura had a crush on him years ago in school. It’s that emotional tension that drives the second Act, as the introverted recluse, who plays with tiny glass animals, moves from childlike fantasies to womanly flirtation. Keira Keeley’s performance of this nuanced role was a highlight of the evening. Her eyes gleamed in Jennifer Tipton’s soft lights, and a rainbow of hope spread across her face. Where she had been too sick to sit for dinner, she was now laughing and romancing in yet a crueler fantasy.

When the gentleman caller reveals he is affianced, the air is sucked from this wine-infused party, the audience breathless, the onstage pain palpable. Ms. Ivey had morphed before our eyes from weary and strung-out to bubbly and confident. Her own self-esteem inflated with pride, as she recalled her own beaus, with her children suddenly poised for victory in life. Then, like waking from a dream, the caller was gone, with Tom blamed for building hope and Laura blamed for hopelessness. Amanda, Tom, and Laura were again alone with despair, before they too disappeared in time, as Tom bonded with his typewriter and whiskey. Michael Yeargan’s versatile set was devoid of beauty and filled with sorrow. Its shining moment, when dinner candles had burned bright, was a sleight of the designer’s palette, a shrewd placement of polish. Jennifer Tipton mastered the mood with discreetly shifting light, and Martin Pakledinaz’ costumes were authentically suited to the mood. Gordon Edelstein, Director, deserves kudos for this remarkable production. And, kudos to Tennessee Williams.

Oliver Tickets > Dirty Dancing Tickets > Musical Tickets > Jimmy Carr Tickets >
Peter Kay Tickets > Ricky Gervais Tickets > Theatre Tickets

For more information, contact Dr. Roberta E. Zlokower at