Dramatic play showcased at Erie Playhouse


staff writer

“A Streetcar Named Desire,” written by famous playwright Tennessee Williams, opened over the weekend at the Erie Playhouse.
The production is a continuation of the Playhouse’s 100th birthday season celebration.
In the French quarter of New Orleans live Stella and Stanley Kowalski.
Their small, two-room apartment fits the couple and their incoming baby perfectly, until an unexpected visitor arrives and disrupts their seemingly perfect household during a very hot summer.
Blanch DuBois, Stella’s sister, has just lost her estate in Laurel, Miss.
Though Blanche doesn’t give the details to her sister of her departure from the family home, Stanley’s suspicions arise and he begins to dig into Blanche’s past in order to uncover the truth.
From there on, it’s the heat brewing in that small apartment that keep the characters at their wits’ end.
Much of Tennessee Williams work is based on his own life. Williams often includes common characteristics like alcoholism, depression, loneliness and insanity, all of which played large roles in his own world.
Due to these experiences, the realism of his pieces is often sad and upsetting. With that in mind, the plays can feel long and drawn out.
Since the play is based in the South, all of the characters have southern accents, and although beautiful, they make following a story difficult to understand until the ears adjust.
After that, it’s just a matter of understanding and uncovering truths from lies during Blanche’s wildly long nostalgic stories from her large pieces of dialogue.
However, to break apart what may seem like hours of Blanche’s smooth yet never-ending voice piercing the air with nonsense, Stanley’s “powerful lungs” save the day.
Brendan Daugherty’s character, Stanley Kowalski, is loosely based on Williams’ temperamental and abusive father.
Stanley is outraged with Blanche’s appearance at his home, her lies and her long hot baths that take up far too much time in the bathroom.
His voice carries far outside the theater with each line he hollers. It isn’t his voice, however, that makes the character so believable.
It is instead the red rage burning across his face, and the loud sound of crashing plates, that can surely send shivers to any person in the audience.
Despite the feeling of never leaving the theater, “A Streetcar Named Desire” proved to be a production worth seeing.
Each actor created that Southern homey feeling, despite the depressing mood. Overall, the play will leave you glad your life is less complicated and aware reality doesn’t live up to fantasy.
The Erie Playhouse’s production of “A Streetcar Named Desire” will continue throughout the month of November. The next show date is at 7:30 p.m. Thursday.

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