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The Glass Menagerie - Theatre Review


A review by Harrison Held

James O'Halloran and Amanda Correia in "The Glass Menagerie" at Renegade Theater. Photo credit: Theodora Greece.

Tennessee Williams' classic The Glass Menagerie is now playing at the cozy 37 seat Renegade Theatre in Hollywood.  The play is very poignant and moving featuring a powerful pitch perfect performance from Katherine Cortez as Amanda Wingfield  the play's well meaning but extremely overbearing former southern belle turned bitter single matriarch. 

Katherine Cortez in "The Glass Menagerie" at Renegade Theater. Photo credit: Theodora Greece.


Amanda Correia, Wilson Better and James O'Halloran shine in their roles as poor crippled Laura, frustrated poet brother Tom Wingfield & former high school "most likely to succeed but hasn't" gentleman caller Jim O'Connor.  Wilson Better does double duty directing the classic piece as well & it is a very good production very much worth seeing.  

Katherine Cortez and Amanda Correia in "The Glass Menagerie" at Renegade Theater. Photo credit: Theodora Greece.


The play was Tennessee Williams first success catapulting him to fame  from obscurity after its shaky debut in Chicago which led to it's successful Broadway run in 1944  which garnered him  the New York Drama Critics Circle Award in 1945.  It is also a semi autobiographical play shedding light on the painful plight of Tennessee Williams' family struggling to survive financially and emotionally in St. Louis during the 1930s.   I think Tennessee Williams was probably one of America's greatest writers of all time.   The characters he writes about are always  intensely interesting and the cast in this production do great work with his wonderful material.

 

James O'Halloran, Katherine Cortez,  Amanda Correia, and Wilson Better in "The Glass Menagerie" at Renegade Theater. Photo credit: Theodora Greece.

The  two act play begins with Tom Wingfield delivering a powerful opening monologue in the near dark...  He explains that it is a memory play and the play will be seen in dim light.   "Yes I have tricks up my sleeve but I am the opposite of a magician...   He gives you the illusion that has the appearance of truth.  I give you truth in the pleasant disguise of illusion".   Tennessee's real name was Thomas and his sister's name was Rose.  In the play fragile  Laura's nickname was Blue Roses because after her teenage bout with pleurosis, Jim thought she said she had been sick with blue roses.  After Laura's terrible experience studying to be a secretary at business school Amanda's sole purpose is to find Laura a husband so that she will be taken care of.  She knows that Tom is bored and frustrated and is about to fly the coup like her husband did many years ago.  He was a telephone man who fell in love with long distances.   

For more information visit www.renegadegm.eventbrite.com - tickets are a steal at only $20.

Through May 17, 2015, Thursdays @ 8pm and Sundays @ 6pm

Renegade Theatre
1514 N Gardner St
Los Angeles, CA 90046

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Posted By Harrison Held on April 20, 2015 11:55 am | Permalink