A Streetcar Named Desire | Performing Arts Review | Chicago Reader

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A Streetcar Named Desire

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Michael Menendian's perfectly cast staging of Tennessee Williams's domestic tragedy for Raven Theatre abounds in discoveries. Nick Keenan's evocative sound design renders the seedy French Quarter setting painfully audible, and Liz Fletcher makes us taste the insanity in Blanche's shabby-genteel fantasies. Mike Vieau plays Stanley Kowalski with a territorial brutality rather than the usual smoldering eroticism, and Dominica Wasilewska registers Stella's anguish: caught between an abusive husband and a prevaricating sister, she's easily the tale's greatest victim. Daniel Ruben gives salt-of-the-earth Mitch, Blanche's last hope, so much bedrock realism you keep expecting him to see the audience and flee. The claustrophobic slum set, by Menendian and Leif Olsen, completely grounds us in this field of screams. Through 11/28: Thu-Sat 8 PM, Sun 3 PM. No show Thu 11/25. Raven Theatre, 6157 N. Clark, 773-338-2177. $20-$25.

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