Long Beach Playhouse Presents THE GLASS MENAGERIE, Now thru 10/13

The Long Beach Playhouse presents Tennessee Williams' classic story of a generational and unbridgeable cultural chasm between a dysfunctional mother and her children who want only to be part of the world beyond their mother's understanding.

Amanda Wingfield is played by Carmen Tunis, most recently seen on the LBP stage as Miss Stephanie in its production of To Kill a Mockingbird. Amanda is a faded remnant of Southern gentility living in a dingy St. Louis apartment with her children, Tom and Laura.

Tom is portrayed by Adam Mahan, who appeared as Cléante in Tartuffe on the Mainstage in April. Tom seeks escape in alcohol and movies - or so he says. When Amanda confronts him about his nighttime exploits, he tells her he goes to opium dens and criminal hideouts.

Laura is hobbled literally and figuratively and retreats into her miniature glass animals. Laura's fragility and insecurities are given voice by Darri Kristin. When Tom brings his friend Jim home for dinner, dreams shatter like Laura's glass menagerie and what remains of their carefully constructed illusions crash around them. Jim is played by Darren Bailey.

Although Amanda wants the best for them, she is anchored to a bygone era; her insecurities and disappointments make her incapable of allowing her children the freedom to live their own lives. Director Phyllis Gitlin elicits nuanced performances from the cast as together they bring these complex and compelling figures to life on the LBP Mainstage.

The show opens tonight, September 15 and continues on Friday nights (8 p.m.), Saturday nights (8 p.m.) and Sunday matinees, (2 p.m.) through Saturday, October 13, 2012.

An opening night champagne reception with the cast is slated for September 15. Tickets are $27.00.

For the regular run, adults are $24.00, seniors $21.00, and students $14.00. Tickets are available at www.lbplayhouse.org, or by calling 562-494-1014, option 1.

Long Beach Playhouse is located at 5021 E. Anaheim St., Long Beach, Calif., right across from the Long Beach Recreation golf course. The Playhouse is community-supported theatre with programs and events that cut across age, gender, ethnic, and cultural boundaries.

Performances are 8 p.m. Friday, and Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday. The box office is open Wednesday-Saturday from 3:00-8:00 pm & Sundays from 1:00-2:00 pm on scheduled matinees only. For more information or to purchase tickets visit www.lbplayhouse.org or call 562-494-1014.

Pictured: Darri Kristen as Laura and Darren Bailey as Jim (The Gentleman Caller). Photo Credit: Jonathan Lewis.

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