The Glass Menagerie | Madison Street Theatre | Theater & Performance | Chicago Reader

The Glass Menagerie Closing (Theater and Galleries) The Short List (Theater)

When: Thursdays-Sundays. Continues through Nov. 13 2011

Tennessee Williams put one of his trademark knotty females at the heart of this 1944 classic: Amanda Wingfield, a desperate, controlling, single mother trying to shepherd her two misfit grown children into adulthood. For the play to achieve its full power, the actor who plays Amanda must fill the role completely, revealing her complexity in every gesture. In this Oak Park Festival Theatre production, Belinda Bremner's Amanda is too simple and shallow. She lacks fire, reminding when she should nag, wanting when she should yearn, reminiscing when she should become lost in reverie. Christian Gray and Zoe Palko seem well cast as Amanda's emotionally crippled children, Tom and Laura, in this well-crafted but ultimately unsatisfying revival. But neither of them is able to scale the play's emotional heights without a strong, hysterical Amanda to play against. --Jack Helbig

Price: $20-$25

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