The Booth Theatre has a fantastic new production of The Glass Menagerie by Tennesse Williams. Zachary Quinto captivated as Tom. I suspect he will live long and prosper in many future roles on stage and screen. Cherry Jones portrayed a very funny and naturally dramatic Amanda. I totally bought her southern, exaggerated way of speaking. And Celia Keenan-Bolger quietly shone as poor, awkward, Laura.
My more experienced theatre-going companion assured me this was the best production of “Glass” she had seen and pointed out it kept more in line with William’s original intent. The stage was set apart by a shallow pool of water from the audience, which may have contributed to the overall dreamy and ethereal quality to the production. As Tom announces in the first scene, this is a memory play and must be treated as such.
With praise duly noted, and I do highly recommend catching a performance if you happen to be in NYC over the holidays, I do have some quibbles.
It’s a memory play and we witness Tom’s memory, so ultimately the play is about Tom. We see him revisit the night he abandoned his overbearing mother and selfless sister to strike out on his own, following in his deadbeat dad’s footsteps. So Tom has to leave at the end, but I’m not buying that his mom’s irrational anger at him for bringing an engaged man to dinner as a gentlemen caller for his sister would have caused him to leave. Not after all the years of abuse and pent up frustration he felt toward his mom and his lack of success in life so far. Perhaps, this was simply the straw that broke the camel’s back, but it didn’t feel right. Instead, it seemed like Tom had to leave, and the plot served to move the characters, rather than organically growing from the characters. Read more »