The Unbearable Banishment: Tennessee’s unholy mother from hell

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Tennessee’s unholy mother from hell

The Roundabout Theater’s production of The Glass Menagerie is about to open and I dare anyone to say anything negative about Judith Ivey's performance. I’ve been going back and forth with a friend over the quality of the performances by the actors playing the daughter and son, but we both agree that Ms. Ivey’s Amanda Wingfield was pitch perfect as the ex-Southern Belle smothering shrew of a mother. At the interval I wanted to jump up on stage and strangle her. Isn’t that about as convincing as you can get? Her long (loooong) streams of dialog seemed like natural conversation, as though the words were being spoken for the first time. That’s hard to do.

I thought the performance of the actor playing the son, Tom, (Tennessee Williams’ doppelganger) was labored and unconvincing. It felt like a script reading to me. Mr. D. thought he was fine but that the actor playing the daughter, Laura, played her as someone who was mentally retarded. “The character is supposed to have emotional flaws. Not a learning disability,” he reasoned. I thought she played it from the heart and did a fantastic job. Same show, but different evenings. That could factor into it.

* * *

Today marks the 2nd anniversary of this blog. It has replaced chasing rare books as my hobby of choice (although I still do that, too). Kudos, once again, to Bob, who got me started on this venture without ever realizing it.

Since the very start I have been far too concerned with uncontrollable, idiotic things like stats, traffic and comments. I’ve resolved to be more keenly aware of the quality of the posts and less concerned with whether or not anyone is reading them. What an ego!



Blogger savannah said...

i LOVE judith ivey! *sigh* like every high school girl, the glass menagerie was my introduction to tennessee williams and the beginning of my infatuation with all things southern.

AND, now, CONGRATULATIONS, sugar! i'm looking forward to reading everything and anything y'all decide to post because i haven't been disappointed so far! xoxoxo

March 23, 2010 at 9:18 PM  
Blogger Cat said...

What do Cat and Tennessee Williams have in common? We were both born in Columbus, Mississippi. For some reason the town chooses to promote itself as the birthplace of Tennessee Williams, and not the hometown of My Name is Cat. I'm not sure why.

Congratulations on you 2 year blogaversary. I'm glad Bob put you up to it.

March 23, 2010 at 10:01 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

thanks, bob, for giving me a very talented and fun blog-brother... he's my blogdaddy, too.

hey. stop looking at me. DAAAAAAAAAD! Unbearable Banishment is breathing my air and on my side of the car...

March 24, 2010 at 6:34 AM  
Blogger The Unbearable Banishment said...

Savannah: Thank you, dear. You are too, too kind. Could you please type that second paragraph again?

Cat: I was merely following Bob's lead. Fun fact: he started blogging in 2003 before EVERYONE had a blog.

Daisy: Did not! [Did too!] Did not! [Did too!], etc., etc.

March 24, 2010 at 7:34 AM  
Blogger Ms Scarlet said...

I did the Glass Menagerie at school. And I remember it so it must be good.
Congrats on your 2nd Blogiversary!!

March 24, 2010 at 8:36 AM  
Anonymous neeeekole. said...

reminds me of the yellow wallpaper

March 24, 2010 at 3:19 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What an ego, indeed! :^)

Happy 2nd blogiversary dude.

March 24, 2010 at 10:28 PM  
Blogger Here In Franklin said...

For some reason, Judith Ivey's voice just grates on me...I find it harsh and the accent, at times, just a little too much.

On the other hand, congrats on the anniversary. I'll be at two years next month myself.

March 25, 2010 at 3:22 PM  
Blogger A Free Man said...

Tennessee Williams is by far my favorite playwright. But The Glass Menagerie is one of my least favorite of his plays. I'm a Cat on a Hot Tin Roof kind of guy.

March 26, 2010 at 6:44 AM  
Blogger The Unbearable Banishment said...

Rob: I think that my overblown ego is actually a defense mechanism to counter my low self esteem. Go ask a shrink.

HIF: Ivey just won raves for her performance -- grating voice and all! Two flew by, didn't it?

AFM: The just ran "A Streetcar Named Desire" with Cate Blanchett. It was an impossible ticket to get.

March 26, 2010 at 8:43 AM  

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