BWW Review: DEAR MR. WILLIAMS: Bryan Batt Mesmerizes at The Curtain Call Lounge
Written and performed by SAG Award winner Bryan Batt and featured as part of the fourth annual Tennessee Williams Festival, DEAR Mr. Williams uses the playwright's life as a template for his own artistic career and personal discovery.
DEAR Mr. Williams centers on the parallel journeys between Batt and his beloved playwright. Sharing Williams passion for The Big Easy, Batt's metamorphosis from adolescent soccer player to an actor lauded by Helen Hayes is a bumpy coming-of-age story filled that is equally parts hilarious, ironic, tragic, contemplative and rousing.
Recounting his upbringing with a mother who introduced him to 'everything beautiful in the world' to an alcoholic and detached father, Batt brings his captive audience along for his journey from New Orleans, where social status determines your placement, to New York, where the glamor of the Broadway stage is infectious and addictive.
On stage Batt is masterful storyteller whose reflections run a gamut of emotions that celebrate freedom, his passion for acting and a ferocious intensity for enjoying the moment. There's an earnest tenderness in Batt's confession of how his introduction to Tennessee Williams' work at the age of 13 opened his soul to a world of shadows and bright lights.
Directed by Drama Desk and Outer Critics Circle Award Winner Michael Wilson, DEAR Mr. Williams is a true tale filled with sex, booze, hope, loss and hope that pulsates with the life, heart and spirit of Tennessee Williams.