Wednesday, October 18, 2006

"Fuck the godamn preacher!"

Becky took me to see Cat on a Hot Tin Roof by Tennesee Williams last night at the Dallas Theater Center.

I was reading the program during an intermission when I discovered that there are five different versions of Cat on a Hot Tin Roof. There is the original short story that was published in 1952, three different play versions (apparently Williams was a bit OCD about his work and was known for rewriting everything he did,) and the Hollywood film version. The play hit Broadway in 1955 and was toned down quite a bit from its original version because it was deemed too racy for the times. Foul language, sexual inuendo, hints at homosexuality, and other themes proved too much for audiences. However, by 1974 the country was ready to experience the play as the original masterpiece that Williams had envisioned.

What we experienced last night was the original play replete with dirty jokes, ambiguous sexuality, overt sexuality, bad language, etc. It was brilliant. I laughed, I cried, I sat still for almost three straight hours. The play was arranged in three separate increments which allowed for two ten-minute intermissions (which was helpful because Becky and I had dinner at Lucky's beforehand and I had three Dr. Pepper's with my meal!)

The play starred two actors I knew from television: Dakin Matthews from Charmed played the role of Big Daddy and Rick Stear from Buffy the Vampire Slayer played the role of Brick. They had a major act together and their timing was so amazing that I really felt like I was a part of their lives. My favorite character was Mae, played by Kati Brazda, and two of the three times that I cried were based solely upon her facial expressions and obvious internal struggle and pain. She was brilliant.

The set was beautiful. It slants forward to give you the illusion that you are in the room with the actors and the illusion is successful. As we were leaving the theater Becky and I overheard two older women discussing how they didn't "get" the set, how it was "weird" to them. I had to wonder if they truly "get" anything because it was readily apparent to me what the vision for this set was and how and why it succeeded at producing the intended vision.

I won't go into my impressions of each of the cast members because I could gush about them and this show for hours. But I will say this, I am ready to see this show again. David wasn't able to make it with us last night but I want to take him back to see it and anyone else who is interested.


UnrulyDuckling said...

I would love to go. I heard about this play on the radio this morning and knew I wanted to see it. I don't suppose Becky has the hook-up? :)

SerenitySprings said...

She does, but that's what I got last night. We'll have to buy tickets for any further showings we go to. But believe me, it's worth it. Even if we have to sit in the balcony (which we did for the last show we went to and it was fine.)

fictionfiend said...

I think I get a discount on other tickets. I'll have to see how much the discount is, and how it works.

I thought you liked Maggie? (the tall brunette who was Brick's wife) Mae was the pregnant nipshit mother of the no-necks.
But, y'know, I could be mistaken. :)

I'm glad you got to go and that you liked it. It's always interesting--and refreshing--to get a "civilian's" perspective.

SerenitySprings said...

Haha, you're right. Maggie was my favorite. Mae was a bitch. :)

Addie said...

I was kind of wondering why you liked Mae as well.... ha - its funny that you bring this play up - my husband just played the reverend in our towns production (hometown of Tennessee Williams, might I add - ha ha).... too bad you couldnt come down and sit with me to watch ours.... it is great play, I agree