A Streetcar Named Desire shows a turbulent confrontation between traditional values in the American South - an old-world graciousness and beauty running decoratively to seed - set against the rough-edged, aggressive materialism of the new world. Through the vividly characterised figures of Southern belle Blanche Dubois, seeking refuge from ...
A Streetcar Named Desire shows a turbulent confrontation between traditional values in the American South - an old-world graciousness and beauty running decoratively to seed - set against the rough-edged, aggressive materialism of the new world. Through the vividly characterised figures of Southern belle Blanche Dubois, seeking refuge from physical ugliness in decayed gentility, and her brutal brother-in-law Stanley Kowalski, Tennessee Williams dramatises his sense of the South's past as still active and often destructive in modern America. In addition to the full text of the play, this edition contains a chronology of the playwright's life and work; an introduction giving the background to the play, a discussion of the various interpretations; notes on individual owrds and phrases as well as photographs from stage productions.
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A play, especially one by Mr. Williams, is always fun to read and re-imagine. I've seen most of his big plays: "Streetcar"; "Glass Menagerie"; "Cat on a Hot Tine Roof"; "Night of the Iguana"; "The Rose Tattoo". As well as having seen: "Small Craft Warnings" and such. But "Streetcar" is so amazing for the forces of genteel courtesies vs. raw, sexual passions brought together and ultimately entangled in sometimes funny but terrible ways. And then there is the past: Blanche's past with hints of pedophilia, and her total ignorance of managing estate issues and Stanley's past with his ignorance, rage and yet, a sort of innocence that he then betrays by forcing himself upon Blanche. We, as the audience, laugh at and empathize with both of the principals and the agonies of their smaller, fellow cast members. Quite a thing to experience...
Publishers Weekly, 2009-04-27 Williams's classic play begins with Blanche DuBois's arrival in New Orleans to stay with her sister and brother-in-law, Stella and Stanley Kowalski. The determinedly genteel Blanche is shocked by their lower-class lifestyle--and by Stanley's frequently aggressive behavior. As Blanche's secrets catch up with her, a seedy reality trumps her love for romance. Rosemary Harris embodies Blanche with all the flare, attitude and Southern drawl commonly associated with the cultural icon. The role of Stanley is so physical that his presence is diminished by the lack of a visual performance, but James Farentino's Stanley is excellent. The overall production quality is excellent with musical segues and sound effects that enhance without distracting the listeners. This recording captures the cast of the 1973 Broadway revival (which won Harris a Drama Desk award and Farentino a Theatre World award). (Feb.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
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