Original score by Daniel Knox
Directed by Hans Fleischmann
Produced by Mary-Arrchie Theatre
At Angel Island, Chicago
Interesting take on a classic American drama
Director and narrator/player Hans Fleischmann (Tom) is a homeless hobo living in an alley (glass infested set designed by Grant Sabin). He is dressed in dirty ragged clothes and he sports a full beard – he is reliving memories from his life with his mother and sister in 1937 St.Louis. This is an intriguing concept that I’ve never seen before in any production of Williams’ greatest play – The Glass Menagerie. This concept speaks much about what happened to Tom after he left St. Louis for adventure.
The Glass Menagerie still resonates true today as “an effort to explore the beauty and meaning in the confusion of living.” (A Tennessee Williams quote). The Glass Menagerie centers on the Wingfield family in late 1930’s St. Louis: Tom is an aspiring poet who spends his days working in a warehouse, is eager to start out on his own life’s journey. His overbearing mother, Amanda (Maggie Cain), who yearns for the glamor of the past and his incredibly shy sister, Laura (Joanne Dubach) who dreams of a brighter future and a happiness that seems just out of her reach, are dependent on Tom for their sustenance. We witness Tom’s painful remembrance. The underscoring music (by Daniel Knox)is riveting; Anna Henson’s projections are helpful.
This production features honest and deeply emotional performances from the cast. Fleischmann Tom contains the yearning to be free and discover the world’s adventures. Meggie Cain deftly presents a woman clinging to a past world that she can not escape. Dubach effectively plays Laura as a frightened soul. Walter Briggs’ take on The Gentleman Caller contains his gentleness as well as his vanity. The Mary-Arrchie production of Tennessee Williams’ classic is powerful, poignant and profane. Hans Fleischmann is outstanding as Tom.
At Angel Island, 731 W. Sheridan Road, Chicago, IL, tickets $15 -$25, Thursdays thru Saturdays at 8 pm, Sundays at 7 pm, running time is 2 hours, 30 minutes with intermission, through February 17, 2013