How Does the New “Streetcar” Play Out?

Standing outside of the Broadhurst Theatre you may think that you’re just going to see the latest revival of A Streetcar Named Desire. Then step inside, and you’re transported to the middle of the French Quarter in New Orleans, in that little ol’ dingy apartment of Stella and Stanley’s. And that whole multi-racial element that was so talked about during the show’s promotion and pre-production phase? Completely forgot about, the few tweaked details aside.

Blair Underwood, taking on the part of Stanley, brought to the stage all the roughness and “animal-like” characteristics that define Stanley’s very core character; yet when around Stella, played by Daphne Rubin-Vega, he completely breaks down into a man of completely vulnerability, but completely unlike the boyish qualities possessed by his on-screen predecessor, Marlon Brando. And if you’re waiting on the edge of your seat for that iconic “Stella-aaaaa” howl, you’ll get it. But Underwood makes it his own by donning a red t-shirt instead of the white tank Brando made synonymous with the play.

Rubin-Vega holds her own to Underwood’s Stanley, helping portray the complete disillusionment and denial in which she and Stanley continue to live. When Stella’s fragile southern belle sister Blanche, played by Nicole Ari Parker, comes to town to shed some light (and reality) on the situation, she does it flawlessly. She’s the very one who calls Stanley “animal-like” to the blind Stella yet ironically, is also the one carted away to the psyche asylum at the end of the play.

Yes, with the latest A Streetcar Named Desire you definitely forget about the multi-racial cast that was so highly touted during its early production phases, and can enjoy simply being transported back once again into the world that was Tennessee Williams. The fact that Stanley’s Polish last name has been taken out, and that the original segregated bar was replaced with one that was not, are the only reminders that this play was originally more about hype than real, raw talent — and that’s exactly what this play is from start to finish.

Leave a Reply

About Us | Contact Us | Link to Us | Phone: 1.800.985.7882
Copyright © 2007-2011 All Rights Reserved. | Privacy Policy | Terms of Use