HAMLET  
THE GLASS MENAGERIE  
Kimberly-Clark presents A CHRISTMAS CAROL  
ACCIDENTAL DEATH OF AN ANARCHIST  
TOPDOG / UNDERDOG  
AIN`T MISBEHAVIN`  
The Dallas Theater Center  
Press Room  
Board of Trustees 2003-2004  
Season Sponsors  
Volunteer Opportunities  
Employment Opportunities  
Advertise in PLAYBILL  
Tell us what you think  
Fan Mail  
Season Subscriptions  
Buy Single Tickets  
Exchange Tickets  
Group Sales  
Special Ticket Discounts  
Special Gift Package Offers  
Education and Community Programs  
Acting Classes: The LAB  
Project Discovery: School Outreach  
Student Matinee Series  
Touring Production  
Humanities Series  
Internships  
Student Rush  
Pay What You Can  
Inside Scoop  
FRESH INK - New Play Reading Series  
CenterStage Gala 2004  
Dickens of a Christmas  
Sunday with Scrooge  
The Artful Woman  
Support DTC  
Corporate Support and Sponsorships  
Individual Giving and Memberships  
Endowment Fund  
In Kind Sponsorships  
The Artful Woman  
Sponsor a Play  
DTC Guild  
Print as HTML  
Print as PDF  
HAMLET  
THE GLASS MENAGERIE  
Kimberly-Clark presents A CHRISTMAS CAROL  
ACCIDENTAL DEATH OF AN ANARCHIST  
TOPDOG / UNDERDOG  
AIN`T MISBEHAVIN`  
The Dallas Theater Center  
Press Room  
Board of Trustees 2003-2004  
Season Sponsors  
Volunteer Opportunities  
Employment Opportunities  
Advertise in PLAYBILL  
Tell us what you think  
Fan Mail  
Season Subscriptions  
Buy Single Tickets  
Exchange Tickets  
Group Sales  
Special Ticket Discounts  
Special Gift Package Offers  
Education and Community Programs  
Acting Classes: The LAB  
Project Discovery: School Outreach  
Student Matinee Series  
Touring Production  
Humanities Series  
Internships  
Student Rush  
Pay What You Can  
Support DTC  
Corporate Support and Sponsorships  
Individual Giving and Memberships  
Endowment Fund  
In Kind Sponsorships  
The Artful Woman  
Sponsor a Play  
DTC Guild  
Print as HTML  
Print as PDF  


 
DON`T MISS Suzan-Lori Parks` Pulitzer Prize-winning TOPDOG/UNDERDOG, Feb. 25 - March 21.

 
The Dallas Theater Center
       Kalita Humphreys Theater
       Arts District Theater
       Season Timeline
       Theater Staff
Press Room
       Articles / Reviews
       Photo Downloads
Board of Trustees 2003-2004
Season Sponsors
Volunteer Opportunities
Employment Opportunities
Advertise in PLAYBILL
Tell us what you think
Fan Mail

 
  REVIEW: The Menagerie Shines
 

 

By Dena Hill, Senior Editor

People Newspapers

Brandon Miller stars as Tom Wingfield in The Glass Menagerie at the Dallas Theater Center.
Courtesy Photos

Tennessee Williams’ autobiographical play The Glass Menagerie delves into raw emotional territory, exposing a dysfunctional family on the verge of shredding the few threads that bind them together. The Dallas Theater Center’s current production is a solid, if not perfect, rendition of Williams’ “memory” play.

DTC associate director Claudia Zelevansky has artfully staged the production in a one-room set at the Kalita Humphrey’s Theater, making use of the closed-in feel of the Wingfield family’s cramped apartment in a squalid area of St. Louis during the Depression era. By flashing scene titles above the set’s dining room door opening, and showing off-stage moments directly through the on-stage screen door, scenic designer Takeshi Kata makes use of every inch of stage space without ever changing the set.

Pushing much of the action far upstage, Zelevansky makes the characters less intimate for some scenes; then, she takes them outside the screen door where they become observers. The result is a keen focus on the story’s method of retrospection, specifically on the characters as vehicles of memory — just where the focus should be.

Opening scene narrator Tom Wingfield (Brandon Miller) paces upstage as he becomes storyteller to the audience. Methodically lighting and smoking cigarettes as he talks, Miller sets the stage for what is to come. Walking back and forth, philosophizing, Miller flicks away cigarettes as if they represent wasted moments of the life he wants to escape.

Since his father ran out on the family years before, Tom has been the sole provider for his domineering mother, Amanda (Beth Dixon) and his disabled and chronically shy sister, Laura (Jeanine Serralles). A poet stuck in a soul-crushing day job, Tom works in a warehouse.

When Tom sits down to dinner with his sister and mother at the end of his workday, nothing about the shared meal is bound to go right. Although sometimes a bit exaggerated in scenes of anger, Miller brings much to the quieter moments of his role and often hits the mark as he intricately conveys Tom’s more complicated vacillations. His is a world haunted by the adventure he knows he’s missing. To his credit, Miller is also able to wring out the subtle moments of ironic, bemused humor that only Tom sees in his day-to-day strife.

As faded, iron-willed former Southern belle, Amanda Wingfield, Beth Dixon commands the scenes she’s in, providing a marvelous foil for both the action around her and William’s complex dialogue. Amanda is a pushy, out-of date genteel Southerner who cares more about appearances than she does about the feelings of her loved ones. But Dixon carefully keeps Amanda from slipping into one-note villainy. If the audience is able to like her a bit more by the play’s end, it’s because she is able to convey how she cares for her children with a tough-love brand of logic.

Jeanine Seralles the mousy sister, Laura, and Ashley Smith, as Gentleman Caller Jim O’Connor, turn in fine performances in the play’s most achingly tender scenes of unrequited love and heartbreak.

At the end, Tom addresses the audience, up close, lamenting the empty adventures he’s had. He is haunted by guilt for the family he abandoned.

We are haunted by the poignant memories this production evokes.
 


 
 
Or call our box office at 214.522.8499     
   home   search   contact DTC   site map   volunteer   buy/exchange tickets  
   copyright 2003 Dallas Theater Center