REVIEW: “The Glass Menagerie” @ Hubbard Hall [Berkshire on Stage]

May 2nd, 2017, 1:30 pm by Sara

Laura (Grace Sgambettera) and her Gentleman Caller (Woodrow Proctor). Photo: Kyra Fitzgerald.

Review by Gail M. Burns

When you live with a story for a long time – and most Americans are introduced to Tennessee Williams’ The Glass Menagerie in high school or college – you see it through the lens not only of your own personal experience, but also of the social milieu of the day. I first met this play as a teenager in the early 1970s. Freudian theory was still widely accepted, and Amanda Wingfield was presented as a selfish, domineering mother who stifled her children and ruined their lives. It was still generally believed that a mother like that was the cause of a son’s homosexuality. At first I saw Amanda as the villain of the piece.

Later, I transferred that title to Tom, who abandons his mother and helpless sister just like his father before him. Now I tend to consider Jim, the gentleman caller, as the villain who raises, then crushes Amanda and Laura’s hopes.

The Glass Menagerie, currently playing at Hubbard Hall in Cambridge, is the mostly highly autobiographical of Williams’ plays, and his first commercial success. It is obvious that Tom is Williams – whose given name was Thomas – and Laura is his elder sister, Rose, who ended up institutionalized for life after a botched lobotomy. Amanda is their mother, Edwina Dakin Williams. The family did live in St. Louis, his father was a traveling salesman more often on the road than at home, and Williams did work in a shoe warehouse. But Williams was the sickly child over whom his mother fawned, and there was another son in the family.

Click to read the rest at Berkshire on Stage.

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Hubbard Hall Presents “The Glass Menagerie” [Berkshire on Stage]

April 19th, 2017, 3:00 pm by Sara
(left) Grace Sgambettera, Christine Decker, and David Snider in rehearsal for “The Glass Menagerie” at Hubbard Hall and (right) Grace Sgambettera as Laura and Christine Decker as Amanda rehearse a scene.

(left) Grace Sgambettera, Christine Decker, and David Snider in rehearsal for “The Glass Menagerie” at Hubbard Hall and (right) Grace Sgambettera as Laura and Christine Decker as Amanda rehearse a scene.

Hubbard Hall in Cambridge is producing Tennessee Williams’ classic The Glass Menagerie for the first time in its almost 40 year history. Opening Saturday (April 22) on Hubbard Hall’s mainstage, this great American play tells the tale of Tom, his sister Laura, their mother Amanda and the Gentleman Caller. A meditation on how the past can haunt our present, this drama made playwright Tennessee Williams famous and is perhaps his most personal work – giving us a window into his love for his real life sister Rose. Filled with laughter, love and longing, The Glass Menagerie is a great play about family, forgiveness and our desire to let go of the past.

Roger Danforth, recent Artistic Director of the Drama League of New York, directs a powerful cast including David Snider (last seen as John Proctor in the Hall’s production of The Crucible), Grace Sgambettera, recent Skidmore College graduate and Saratoga Shakespeare actor Woodrow Proctor and Cambridge’s very own Christine Decker as Amanda.

Click to read the rest at Berkshire on Stage.

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