BWW Reviews: THE GLASS MENAGERIE at Everyman Theatre is Just Plain Splendid

I will never forget the first time I ever saw Tennessee Williams' THE GLASS MENAGERIE. It was in March,1997 at Center Stage and it featured Robert Sean Leonard, Katie MacNichol, Jon Brent Curry, and Pamela Payton-Wright. (I recall taking both Leonard and Curry to the Orioles'opening day game versus Kansas City.) Tim Vasen directed. I remember vividly the strings of glass animals that descended from the stage's ceiling. It was quite a production

This is the first time in the history of the Everyman Theatre that they have produced the same play. And what a great idea by Artistic Director Vince Lancisi to bring back this classic play and to take it upon himself to direct it himself. And what a marvelous job he does. What a way to open the new season at Everyman. It is also the ONLY American Professional Production of THE GLASS MENAGERIE outside the Broadway production which features Cherry Jones.

As one enters the theater, you will notice the incredible set by Resident Set Designer Daniel Ettinger which is Broadway ready. It features two fire escpapes, laundry on clothes' lines, a two-tiered apartment with a dining room in the room, living room in the front separated by a lovely lace curtain which can open automatically. There are also more than 20 windows. Ettinger deserves an award.

Resident Lighting Designer likewise does an admirable job with his lovely lilghting

You truly get a feeling for the 1937 era thanks to Julie Heneghan's costumes.

Special mention must be made about the touching music that accompanies the evening by Resident Sound Designer Chas Marsh. I'm always amazed how music so often can help a play and Marsh's choice of solo piano is just plain wonderful.

The cast is universally phenomenal. Sophie Hinderberger plays the sensitive Laura who blossoms during the visit with the gentleman caller Jim played by the terrific Matthew Schleigh.

Deborah Hazlett once again begs the question why is she not on Broadway? What a fabulous performance playing Amanda.

Playing the role of Tom, the narrator and son, is the incomporable Clinton Brandhagen. His role runs the gamut from explaining the retelling of his family history, to the quiet son who smokes and kills time by escaping to the movies, to his histrionics in Act II when his frustrastion with his life explodes. It is a tour-de force.

Get to the theater early to read the wonderful program and the articles by Dramaturg Naomi Greenberg-Slovin which add greatly.

Finally, I applaud Everyman for their wonderful dedication of THE GLASS MENAGERIE to Baltimimore's grande dame of theater Vivienne Shub on her 95th birthday. Laura Weiss, Marketing and Press Manager, has written a lovely moving tribute to Shub.

For tickets, call 410-752-2208 or visit

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From This Author Charles Shubow

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