Sunday, 20 December 2009

A Streetcar Named Desire

I saw this with The Harriers, a theatre club I'm part of in New York made up of family members that inevitably arrive at the theatre after sprinting for several blocks just as the curtain is rising. We arrived at BAM to see this production with Cate Blanchett as Blanche miraculously on time but after the play managed to drive to the restaurant in two cars leaving behind every Harrier member but two. Hmmmm. Everyone but myself and Abbey loved the play, hailing it as a new benchmark. I demur. I appreciated Cate Blanchett's performance enormously but the rest of it--the set, the other actors--were subpar. I particularly took objection to the end of the play when the director, Liv Ullmann, has Blanche in barefeet looking like a madwoman being taken off to the madhouse. This was a terrible error not at all in keeping with Blanche's amazing ability for self-delusion and the key to the play. The set was awkward and looked more like an episode from The Honeymooners than a down and out dwelling in the south.