|Tennessee by David Levine|
This is the revised version by Tennessee Williams of his 1948 hit play and film, Summer and Smoke. As always, his portraits of women are impeccable and, in this ultimately heart breaking drama, we might be meeting the young Blanche Dubois.
Alma Winemiller is a chaste minister’s daughter, deeply in love with John, the rascally boy next door. Now a young doctor, he tries to convince her that lovemaking is a way to achieve spiritual wholeness, but she resists his obvious attempts to seduce her. However, this passionate young woman finds she cannot suppress powerful desires and throws herself at him with humiliating consequences. As in Williams other plays, we see how love leaves us vulnerable to complex and sometimes cruel relationships.
Geraldine Page’s portrayal of Alma in the 1961 film version of Summer and Smoke, earned her an Oscar nomination but, when Williams revised it in 1964, he wrote in an author’s note that he preferred Eccentricities, saying “It is less conventional and melodramatic.” Well, you decide.
Dana Jackson directs a cast that includes Ginna Carter as Alma; Andrew Dits as John; Brad Greenquist as Rev. Winemiller with Mary Jo Deschanel his wife; Rita Obermeyer is John’s mother; plus Paul Anderson, Joan Chodorow, Choppy Guillotte, Amy Huntington, and Derek Chariton.
Producer Sara Newman-Martins, Executive Producer Marilyn Fox. Set by Kis Knekt, sound by Ken Boot and Christopher Moscatiello, costumes by Christine Cover Ferro.
At The Pacific Resident Theatre, 703 Venice Blvd. Venice, through August 14. Tickets: (310) 822-8392 or online at http://www.pacificresidenttheatre.com.
Also listed in the July issue of NOT BORN YESTERDAY