Only a few plays have made the same impact on the American theatre landscape as Tennessee Williams’ The Glass Menagerie. The play credited with propelling the then unknown playwright into American theatre fame opens Lyric Arts’ 2014-2105 Season.
The Glass Menagerie is a four-character memory play with strong autobiographical elements, featuring characters based on Williams’ and his family. Williams is represented by the character Tom (also the narrator). He is a young man filling the shoes of his father who left the family years earlier. Tom spends his days working in a warehouse, earning a living to provide for his mother Amanda and sister Laura. Amanda is a fading Southern Belle who has made it her mission in life to find the perfect gentleman caller for her daughter Laura to marry. Laura is shy, with a slight physical impairment which has made her create her own world with her colored glass figurines or menagerie.
Lyric Arts’ production is intimate and beautifully tragic. Ty Hudson gives a break out performance as Tom. He transitions perfectly from his role as the narrator to the role as Tom throughout the course of the play. Patti Hynes-McCarthy plays the quintessential Southern Belle Amanda Wingfield. Her performance captivates. The struggle of wanting perfection for her children is evident. Samantha Haeli’s turn as Laura is simple and pure, yet deep. You can feel her desire to be a “normal girl”. The girl her mother longs for her to be.
If you are looking to see a show that honors its legendary playwright and the history of American theatre, this production needs to be at the top of your list.
The Glass Menagerie is playing at Lyric Arts’ in Anoka through September 21. For more information on the show, or to purchase tickets visit Lyric Arts’ website.