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The Glass Menagerie Broadway – Review
The Glass Menagerie has been a perennial hit since it first hit Broadway 1945. The trailblazing memory play by Tennessee Williams is partially autobiographical, casting an eye on Williams life with this mother and sister. The play has been successful adapted for cinema multiple times and continues to win fans on stage and in classrooms around the world today. This new production stars big name performers Sally Field, from Steel Magnolias, and Joe Mantello, previously seen on Broadway in Wicked. The production is heartfelt and astute, offering a truly skilled interpretation of Williams’ original work.
The play focuses on Tom Wingfield’s speculatively accurate memories of the interactions between himself, his doting mother, Amanda, and his damaged sister, Laura. Amanda attempts to attract a husband for her cripplingly shy daughter while pushing Tom to find her a potential suitor. Tom eventually settles on a casual friend, Jim O’Connor, and the group plan a dinner where Amanda hopes romance will blossom between Laura and Jim. The evening is a captivating exercise in character building, offering heart-wrenching insight to the family and their poorly disguised problems. Additionally, there is an edge of doubt to the story as the audience are aware that they are seeing the events solely through Tom’s eyes.
With a standout cast and smooth, excellently realized production, this run of The Glass Menagerie is a reverent tribute to Williams’ original text. The relationships and interactions between the somewhat tragic Wingfields and their polite guest are compelling, especially when performed with such skill. With no promise of a happy ending in sight, The Glass Menagerie functions effectively as a portrayal of emotional tragedy that will keep audiences hooked until the very last second.
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