That is the ultimate temptation inherent in turning classic plays into vehicles for screen stars. Those stars pull in audiences filled with the uninitiated, with people who fundamentally do not know how to watch a play, and who are too easily satisfied. Commercial success can be achieved with something half-baked. And half-baked seems to be more the norm than the exception with the successes that do result. Classic plays tend to require directorial shaping; stars tend to tempt directors to slack off. It’s not a good thing.
Posts Tagged ‘Tennessee Williams’
True, the conclusion that Tom is gay, closeted, and alienated thereby from his family is not absolutely compelled. The failure of the script to “go there” arguably leaves room for actors and directors to interpret. But any other conclusion than that Tom Wingfield, like Tom Williams, is gay would be misinterpretation. And it is a misinterpretation with consequences.
Theater Reviews Page | Previous Theater Review | Next Theater Review Shepherdstown 2012 and the Rise of the Rolling Premiere Published in the Hopkins Review, Winter 2013, New Series 6.1 Take a healthy organism, deny it the environment in which it grows, and it may seek a new environment and new ways of propagating. Serious American theater […]
Is it more important for a memoirist to avoid inflicting pain on those close to him or to tell the truth as he remembers it? Is the allure of suicide to be taken on its own terms or treated with the taboo our society generally imposes upon it? Which should sway the thinking person: the less than conclusive evidence for God’s existence and meaning in the universe or the less than conclusive evidence against God and meaning? There is not going to be an objectively final resolution to these problems. Should drama therefore not “go there”? And if it does “go there,” must the dramatist furnish a right answer? Not in my book.