Sunday, July 13, 2008

A Streetcar Named Desire

At the Intiman
July 9th - August 2nd
Tickets and Information available online or by phone (206) 269 - 1900

Before the show even begins, the audience is transfixed by the beautifully designed set (Thomas Lynch) that appropriately creates the atmosphere for the story about to unfold. The two-story house skeleton construction compliments the action that is already taking place. The lives of the characters and the mood of New Orleans are already taking shape. As the patrons are settling in the seats, a piano tune artfully creeps through the din and peacefully calms the audience as if this silence was part of the script. With such a display completing the pre-show atmosphere, the magic, awe and delight of the Intiman Theater’s A Streetcar Named Desire ignites the stage.

Atmosphere is a vital part of this show’s design as vocalists, pianists and other actors and characters constantly float through the background of the action, not hindering the main interactions but appropriately bringing to life spring, summer and early fall, 1947, New Orleans. The commentary that these vignettes portray skillfully pulls the audience deeper into the lives of the characters, and makes the human truths and realities more apparent. In one scene, the upstairs neighbors react to the action talking place below them, and their subtle fight and tortured resolution adds a strong element to the action already taking place, enhancing the strength behind the message and creating its own powerful truth about the character’s relationships.

Complimented by skilled lighting design (L.B.Morse) and costumes (Frances Kenny), the story was subtly supported from all angles giving the action a strong foundation to build these damaged soul’s lives. Streetcar’s genius comes from the skill of taking an everyday atmosphere of human experience and presenting its reality to the audience. It all takes place in one setting, and the plot points are very basic, but the words and truths about human lives are so entrancing to the human’s point of view. This reality is so well supported by all the design elements in this production that the audience is allowed to fall into these people’s lives and experience their world as true and real.

Photo Credit: Chris Bennion

With a great cast of actors to bring this classic to life, the world of these well-known personalities is created. Notable performances were had by all, and specifically Angela Pierce as Blanche Dubois who instigated a deserved standing ovation at the end of the show. This show is a treasure in itself and its integrity is well supported in this current production. See Tennessee William’s Pulitzer Prize winning Masterpiece come to life in this explosive, lyrical show running July 9 – August 2 at the Intiman.

Reviewed by: Rick Skyler

No comments: