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BWW Review: DESIRE at 59E59 Theaters Entrances


Desire, six plays based on the stories of Tennessee Williams, is now at 59E59 through October 10th. Metropolitan area audiences will not want to miss this opportunity to see the work of Williams brilliantly adapted for the stage. The show is performed by The Acting Company and has extraordinary direction by Michael Wilson. Each and every scene in Desire is entrancing.

Tennessee Williams plays, stories and characters capture humanity with an intermingling of humor and tragedy. Renowned for The Glass Menagerie, A Streetcar Named Desire, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof and Night of the Iguana among others, Williams also wrote over 20 short stories, some of which are the basis for Desire.

The collection of shorts in Desire has just the right variety of themes to keep the audience completely captivated. While each of the plays has the true tenor of Tennessee Williams' writings, the playwrights have done a very fine job of developing each piece. In some of the plays, the settings have been appealingly modernized.

The show opens with The Resemblance Between a Violin and a Coffin by Beth Hanley, a moving coming of age piece. Worms by Elizabeth Egloff is a dramatic story that captures feelings of love, frustration and loss. Oriflamme by David Grimm tells of one woman's tender yearning for romance and glamour in her otherwise dull life. desire quenched by touch is adapted from the story "Desire and the Black Masseur." This dark, mysterious piece is set in the Cold war and addresses racism and hatred. You Lied to Me About Centralia by John Guare is adapted from Portrait of a "Girl in Glass." This clever conversation between a young engaged pair is inspired by the same short story that inspired The Glass Menagerie. The Field of Blue Children by Rebecca Gilman is a thought provoking examination of the differences between social classes on a college campus.

In Desire, the multi-talented actors each deftly assume a number of roles. The cast consists of Kristen Adele, Began Bartle, Juliet Brett, Brian Cross, Liv Rooth, John Skelley, Derek Smith, Mickey Theis and Yaegel T. Welch. And they portray their characters without missing a beat.

The creative Design Team includes scenic and projection design by Jeff Cowie, lighting design by Russell H. Champa, costume design by David C. Wollard and original music and sound design by John Gromada and choreography by Peter Pucci. The musical director and pianist is Jono Mainelli . The Production stage Manager is Jereme Kyle Lewis.

The Acting Company with Producer, Margot Harley and Artistic Director, Ian Belknap was founded in 1972 by John Houseman and Margot Harley. It was formed from the first graduating class of the Drama Division of the Juilliard School. For the past 43 years the company has been the only permanent, professional repertory company dedicated to the development of classical actors having performed 141 classical and new plays from coast to coast to underserved communities and major US cities. The Acting Company boasts 400 alumni in constant demand in the entertainment industry.

Desire will be on the 59E59 Theaters Stage through October 10th. The theater is located at 49 East 59th Street (between Park and Madison Avenues) New York, NY 10022. The show runs for two and a half hours with one intermission. Single tickets cost $70, ($49 for 59E59 Members). To purchase tickets, call Ticket Central at 212.279.4200 or visit

Photo Credit: Carol Rosegg

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