A big glass of Southern Comfort

Tennessee Williams, considered by many to be the pre-eminent Southern playwright of all time, scored his first resounding success with the play “The Glass Menagerie.”

And so the play will begin its local tour of duty tonight at the U’s Babcock Theatre.

A semiautobiographical exploration of Williams’ early life, “Menagerie” centers on a mother and her two children-Tom (the son) and his sister Laura.

Tom works in a warehouse, and pens poems at night (as Tennessee Williams did in his youth) and the reticent and reclusive Laura exists in a dream realm with her glass menagerie.

For those of you wondering what a menagerie is, it’s a collection of wild animals.

Williams’ depictions of loss and memory are interwoven into the family’s struggles and “The Glass Menagerie’s” illusory, dreamy atmosphere prompts its being called a “memory play.”

“Menagerie” director Ron Frederickson performed in the Babcock Theatre’s first production, “Rhinoceros.”

Now an adjunct professor with the U’s theatre department, Frederickson has directed more than 80 plays and musicals.

Students are advised to take this opportunity to see a timeless Tennessee Williams play performed and directed by U affiliates for the comfortable cost of $6 (student rate) or $12 (non-student rate).

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