The Glass Menagerie

(Erik Satie Gymnopedie; Marchese and Naoumoff CD 7463)

Tennessee Williams’ classic "The Glass Menagerie" joins the Indiana State University SummerStage in a moving production directed by Arthur Feinsod. In what he called "a memory play," Williams dramatized the tensions in his own home and his bitterly won escape from it. In the ISU production, Susan Monts-Bologna is masterfully dominant as the complex Wingfield family’s mother, Amanda. In Monts-Bologna’s hands Amanda is loving and angry, tender and domineering, deeply sad and sometimes– quite funny.

Son Tom Wingfield is based on Williams himself. Tom is both the narrator and a character. As narrator Tom, Peter Papadopoulus was a figure of poignantly resigned irony. As character Tom, he was very much the frustrated, angry artist seeking to escape. Papadopoulus was sympathetic in both roles, though I did wish for a bit more difference and a bit more dramatic heft.

The painfully shy Wingfield daughter, Laura, was modeled on Tennessee Williams beloved sister, Rose. Laura is the literal proprietor of "The Glass Menagerie." She was played with a potent opacity by Andrea Renee Swift. Swift’s portrayal of Laura’s crippling fears and the crushing of her blossoming hopes was potent.

Brandon Wentz rounded out the cast as the much looked forward to "Gentleman Caller" in "The Glass Menagerie." Wentz was every bit the emptily smooth, slightly cruel, disappointed high school hero of Laura’s fantasies.

Linda Janosko’s depressingly dilapidated St. Louis apartment set both at the beginning and later with mother Amanda’s pathetic attempts to make it look cheerful was very much a character in the play. Sherry McFadden’s costumes from Tom’s dreary work clothes to the spiffy polish of the Gentleman Caller’s suit all looked fine. Her creation of Amanda’s party dress was quite a revelation. It drew brief surprised gasps and laughter. Tennessee Williams writes that "In memory everything seems to happen to music." And John Kundert-Gibbs’ sound design always supported and sometimes even punctuated the story.

The Indiana State University accomplished production of Tennessee Williams’ eloquent memory play, "The Glass Menagerie," is part of the SummerStage rotating repertoire.

You can see this and other WFIU theatre, musical and opera reviews on our web site at WFIU dot Indiana dot edu.

George Walker

After completing an M.A.T. degree in English at Indiana University, George Walker began announcing for WFIU in 1967. Along with regularly hosting classical music shows, he interviews artists and reviews plays and operas.

View all posts by this author »

What is RSS? RSS makes it possible to subscribe to a website's updates instead of visiting it by delivering new posts to your RSS reader automatically. Choose to receive some or all of the updates from Indiana Public Media Arts & Music:

Support For Indiana Public Media Comes From

Search Arts and Music

Stay Connected

RSS e-mail itunes Facebook Twitter Flickr YouTube

What is RSS? RSS makes it possible to subscribe to a website's updates instead of visiting it by delivering new posts to your RSS reader automatically. Choose to receive some or all of the updates from Indiana Public Media Arts & Music:

Recent Classical Music Stories

Classical Music Events RSS icon

More Events »Submit Your Event »

Arts & Music is on Twitter

Find Us on Facebook

This Week on Harmonia Early Music

Reinhard Goebel and Musica Antiqua Köln

Musica Antiqua Köln LP

We’re celebrating the achievements of Reinhard Goebel, founder of Musica Antiqua Köln. Plus, more about 17th-c. theorist A. Kircher and a CD by Quire Cleveland.

Read more »

Harmonia Early Music is a nationally syndicated weekly early music radio program, podcast and blog produced by WFIU Public Radio.

More from Harmonia »