In a lifetime of writing plays, (29 major, 21 one acts and 9 “apprentice” plays) Tennessee Williams only wrote one real comedy, and he even labeled Period of Adjustment a “serious” comedy. Although he foreshadowed the arrival of Neil Simon and his lighter situation comedy ethos, Williams still could not resist making this foray into comedy character based.
And what twisted characters he has created in this Berkshire Theatre Festival production of Period of Adjustment from 1960. A half century may have passed, but it is still fresh, funny and while the references to the Korean War could be replaced with those of the Middle East, and the telephone replaced with a cellphone, this screwball comedy – for all its literary merit – still works on stage. In the Berkshire Theatre Group’s production there have been edits to the original script.
The play is about two war buddies – who haven’t seen each other in quite a while – wrestling with their two marriages, both of which are in deep trouble. Drinking a bit too much, they dream of ditching the wives and starting a cattle business in San Antonio, Texas.