Pioneer Theatre Company has captured the psychological brilliance and simplicity of Tennessee Williams’ intricate and dynamic play with their production of “The Glass Menagerie.”
Director Mary Robinson led a stellar cast to a well-executed portrayal of the Wingfield family and their disruptive “gentleman caller.” Zachary Prince (Tom Wingfield), Nance Williamson (Amanda Wingfield), Hanley Smith (Laura Wingfield) and Logan James Hall (Jim O’Connor) have chemistry and captivating stage presence individually and together.
“The Glass Menagerie” launches into the lives of Tom and Laura Wingfield and their mother, Amanda. Living alone, the three family members fed off of and support each other in the basic necessities of life as well as socially, for better or worse. As in any family, love, tension and deep relationships are present. Williams’ story focuses on the complexities of these relationships and between the individual members of the family, however.
The ultimate crux of the plot is when the fourth and final character is introduced, Jim O’Connor, the elusive and much-anticipated gentleman caller for Laura. Amidst a series of events and emotions, the family is left destroyed after the departure of O’Connor, of which his presence is the catalyst for such destruction.
Pioneer Theatre Company successfully portrays this sensitive and complex family dynamic with finesse and emotion. Family trio, Prince, Williamson and Smith are superb together and interact naturally as well as with appropriate tension filled exchanges. With minimal stage décor and costume changing, the audience is left with pure performance. Prince, Williamson and Smith soar above expectations as they perform. Their intimate performance ensues with remarkable interaction and individual stage presence.
Smith executes the blithe and crippled role of Amanda Wingfield with quiet awkwardness. Her depiction of Amanda supports the character as well as adding her own portrayal. Amanda is the character of interest within the play as it is her glass collection, of which her mother calls, the “glass menagerie,” that is the focus of the play. Despite her character being the underlying tone of the plot, Smith remains unobtrusive and flits on the outskirts of her fellow cast mates boisterous characters.
Prince ties the play together with his narration and bridging of the various scenes. Shining in solo scenes of dramatic monologue and interacting with onstage family Williamson and Smith, Prince is a consistent support throughout the performance.
Williamson dons the ultimate Amanda Wingfield persona with energy and enthusiasm, pumping southern charm and life into an intensely scrutinized role. She also demonstrates incredible chemistry between her onstage children and the additional O’Connor. Williamson and Hall’s onstage act is a memorable and comical highlight of the production.
Hall sustains wonderful chemistry with Smith and embodies the dashing Jim O’Connor character with skill.
Truly anyone could identify an aspect of themselves or their family within Williams’ story and the Pioneer Theatre Company executes “The Glass Menagerie” wonderfully.
The performance is running Oct 21- Nov 5.