Donate Now to Support KDHX

Listen Live
Wednesday, 11 April 2012 07:43

'Streetcar' Lurches Along

Written by Connie Bollinger
Rate this item
(0 votes)

The Details

I'm not a fan of Tennessee Williams. I find most of his plays dark and rather hard to watch, like witnessing a family fight at Christmas dinner or watching a freight train approach a group of bunnies.

"A Streetcar Named Desire" is probably one of the hardest of Williams' works to act and to direct. Throughout the play, the actors and director teeter precariously on the cliff of melodrama and they must walk that line breath held on tiptoe.

"Streetcar" is the story of the Southern Belle Blanch Dubois now gone to seed and her inability to deal with the real world where people have sex and (gasp) say bad words. Blanch is silly, pretentious, and broken, in the middle of a severe nervous breakdown when she flees her hometown due to a scandal and moves in with her sister and husband Stanley Kowalski in 1947 New Orleans.

Stanley is a big, loud, crude hulk of a man not above smacking his pregnant wife around when he gets drunk. Wife Stella is besotted by Stanley, making excuses for his behavior in fine co-dependent fashion. They live in a run down section of New Orleans in two rooms and a bath as dumpy a roach infested hovel as you can imagine. Enter Miss Blanche who is already living inside her own head, jumping at any sound, unable to abide loud voices, accustomed to plantation life of fading elegance, destitute and on her last legs. What could possibly go wrong?

There's a lot of violence in this play, mostly perpetrated on the women as was, unfortunately, the norm back in postwar America. I once heard a woman of that era explaining to the younger women, "as long as he doesn't draw blood or give you any permanent type injury, getting a good smack across the face once in a while is just part of being married." Ah, the good old days.

Director Larry D Quiggins offers us an uneven production, one lacking, in my opinion, any depth of character or motive. Most of the Southern accents are right out of Petticoat Junction, are distracting, and should have been avoided. Joe Bayne as Stanley and Andrea Grey as Blanche have no sexual tension between them at all and when he finally takes her to bed and she puts up no resistance we're supposed to believe it was there all along. I wasn't convinced.

These are all fixable, however. Lose the accents, bring Blanche's shrillness down a notch, inject some real sexual tension between Blanch and Stanley, allow Stella to be the cornerstone of sanity that she was written to be, and this production can go from mediocre to exceptional in no time. The actors are very good, the sets are perfect, and the ensemble cast shines.

Additional Info

Sponsor Message

Become a Sponsor

Find KDHX Online

KDHX on Instagram
KDHX on YouTube
KDHX on SoundCloud
KDHX on Facebook
KDHX on Twitter
KDHX on flickr

Local Artist Spotlight


The Driftaways

Mon July 28
The Driftaways are a seven man reggae band hailing from St. Louis. Their E.P. Don't Hide is full of high energy jams and groovey improves that gives them a good time vibe. Download their song "Don't Hide"…

Dad Jr: Get Down. Hard.

Sun June 29

KDHX Recommends

July
Thursday
31

Bradford Lee Folk & The Bluegrass Playboys

Bradford Lee Folk & The Bluegrass Playboys KDHX presents Bradford Lee Folk & The Bluegrass Playboys at The Stage, July 31 at 8pm. Tickets available online.   Born in Louisiana and raised in Missouri, Folk remembers watching his Dad pick the country blues on a...


August
Saturday
02

The Aching Hearts at Harvest Sessions 2014

The Aching Hearts at Harvest Sessions 2014 The Aching Hearts are the husband and wife duo of Ryan Spearman and Kelly Wells (host of Steam-Powered Radio on 88.1 KDHX), who recently released the CD "Just a Habit." Join them and KDHX for a morning of classic, old-time...


August
Wednesday
06

Discovery Series: Mandolin Orange

Discovery Series: Mandolin Orange KDHX presents Mandolin Orange as part of the Discovery Series on Wednesday August 6 at 7:30 p.m. The North Carolina-based duo combines bluegrass, rock and country, providing a modern take on age-old styles. Tickets available...


Online Users

7 users and 9611 guests online
Sign in with Facebook

SYSTEM: S5 Box

Login/My Account

Sign in with Facebook