Summer Short List – A Street Car Named Desire

Summer Short List – A Street Car Named Desire

Seeing A Streetcar Named Desire was on the top of my short list of things that I want to accomplish this summer. Finally got a chance to see It. LOVED IT. Highly recommend that if you haven’t seen it you get to the theatre before July 22nd when it leaves to go on tour. STELLLLLLLA!!!

I read Tennessee Williams’ play Our Town in high school, which I loved, but never read Street Car. I saw the movie many years ago, so I somewhat remembered the plot. I definitely need to go back and see the film again to bring the contrasts full circle.

I was not only interested in seeing this on stage but also in the twist that a mostly Black, truly multi-cultural cast would bring to the story. In order to fully appreciate the historical nuance that this casting brings to a story which is set in New Orleans, check out this interview with Blair Underwood, who plays Stanley, Emily Mann, the director and New Orleans native Melissa Harris Perry (MHP). MHP provides the critical historical context that makes this much more than just a great play re-imagined with a different cast. Insight that was clearly lost on John Lahr, the white New Yorker magazine critic who stated that as a part of his Christmas list he wanted to see “No more infernal all-black productions of Tennessee Williams plays unless we can have their equal in folly: all-white productions of August Wilson.” This guy is clearly not a student of Black history…maybe he should leave the critiques of productions that reflect cultures unfamiliar to him to others who are more qualified…

Another great interview with Michael Eric Dyson, Nicole Ari Parker and Blair Underwood.

 

I am really happy that I was able to get this in before the production leaves for London on July 22nd. All of the actors in the play, in my opinion, were excellent. I was particularly impressed with Nicole Ari Parker’s brilliant portrayal of Blanche DuBois, and Blair Underwood’s powerful portrayal of Stanley Tennessee Williams, A Street Car Named Desire, Broadway, Black Cast, Blair Underwood, Blanche DuBois, Nicole Ari Parker, Stanley Kowalski which was as raw as it was intense. For both actors this is their Broadway debut. The tension between these two characters builds throughout the play and draws you in. The music by Terrance Blanchard is also excellent.

I am not a theatre critic, I just like what I like. I tend to prefer musicals and comedic theatre, but every now and then you need to see something dramatic that jars and disturbs you. I was fortunate to see the all Black production of A Cat On A Hot In Roof on broadway, from the same producers as Street Car, which I also LOVED! I also saw The Motherfucker With The Hat…which was excellent. Of course, the intrigue around the name was enough to get me to see it. If you love dramatic plays, or more importantly if you tend to stick to musicals and lighter productions and have not yet experienced more gripping theatre, this is a show to see. Don’t sleep on this…hurry and support before it leaves.

Check out TKTS and Telecharge where you can get good ticket prices. The show is just as good from the back of the theatre as it is from the front row!

Next on my short list is the return of Fela, which I will see and report on next week.

Cast:

  • Blair Underwood – Stanley Kowalski
  • Nicole Ari Parker – Blanche DuBois
  • Daphne Rubin-Vega – Stella Kowalski
  • Wood Harris – Mitch

Music:

  • Terence Blanchard – Musical Score

A Street Car Named Desire
BROADHURST THEATRE
235 W. 44TH STREET, NY, NY 10036
http://streetcaronbroadway.com/

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