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A Streetcar Named Desire

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A Streetcar Named Desire, New World Repertory Theater, at Mason's Building. The New World Repertory Theater might have assessed their resources more thoroughly before choosing so ambitious a play as their inaugural production. The company's educational mission and its borrowed quarters in the Downers Grove Masonic-temple auditorium limited the time available for rehearsal, and the restrictions of its Equity-showcase contract apparently made for casting decisions based on expediency.

In this staging by former Footsteps Theatre artistic director Jean Adamak Gottlieb, Laura Sollman St. John wears Blanche's Deep South mannerisms with appropriate elegance but rarely suggests the complex motives behind her character's actions. William Charles Hare's Stanley and Melissa Van Kersen's Stella likewise leave the depths unplumbed. Only Paul Hofmann's Mitch evidences a life beyond the text in New World's uneven interpretation of an American classic.

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