What's it about?
The Glass Menagerie is a memory play by Tennessee Williams with five characters who are all vital in very different ways. A son's memory of his mother & sister and their life in a dingy St. Louis apartment.
What I experienced:
I have read this play before, like many others have I'm sure.
Going into the show I had an idea of what this show was going to be like. I mean, it is a play that’s been done time and time again. Seeing as this is a Broadway show I thought it was going to be all glitzy and glamour, but to my surprise it was deconstructed. What I mean, this rendition of The Glass Menagerie was bare bones and raw. What surprised me the most was how different it felt from the play I remembered reading. It started with a more serious Tom, but the most surprising was Laura. In the original play Laura had a slight limp but in this version she has muscular dystrophy.
I love the idea of taking something old and making it new. I loved seeing how a specific person re-envisioned a classic story. Seeing someone’s vision of a classic such as this makes me think I’m looking at it through that person’s eyes and mind.
I remember reading this memory play, it made me feel like I was in Tennessee Williams’s shoes. His play felt straightforward and like he had imported certain parts and people of his life. For this version, instead of feeling like I was in the shoes of Williams, I felt like I was in the shoes of Sam Gold, the director.
This deconstructed version made me realize that there’s something more important than the setting or time. That people are the star in the show and in life in general. For me, this was a great take away. Tom may be dreaming for a bright future but it’s the people that stay close and matter.
I must admit while I was sitting there watching the show, I was comparing and contrasting it with the beloved play that I had spent so much time reading. My mind longing for the moments of quiet solace Tom would experience on his fire escape. Smoking cigarette after cigarette, thinking about his dream life while quiet music wafted from the outside surrounding him. For the setting to be different and show more character. However, this wasn't my rendition. And each rendition is its own entity and it’s important to recognize and appreciate the art for what it is.
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What did you experience?
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