|Austene Van as Blanche
|Stella (Elizabeth Grullon) and
Stanley (Kris Nelson)
This is a fairly elaborate set by Ten Thousand Things standards. In case you've never seen a TTT show before, they create a "stage" by placing a few rows of chairs in a square. The space in the middle is where the story takes place, but it also spills outside the square as the fully lit room allows you to follow the actors as they leave the space. Dean Holzman has effectively transformed this empty square into the two rooms, with an imaginary curtain separating the tiny bed in one corner from the kitchen table in the other. Peter Vitale adds a soundtrack to the play, adding in jazz music playing on the radio or creepy carnival music when Blanche remembers her difficult past.
The last several shows that TTT has done have been on the more light-hearted side, which allowed the cast to play with the audience a little. But not so with Streetcar. The actors keep the intensity of the story and reside in the world they create, as if the audience isn't even there. Not since Doubt two years ago (also starring Kris Nelson) have they tackled such a serious drama. As always, I highly recommend that you go see it. I went with a friend who had never seen TTT before, and we're already talking about getting season passes next season (which includes A Midsummer Night's Dream, The Music Man, and a new play by Kira Obolensky). Warning: the kind of real, raw, intimate theater that Ten Thousand Things does can be addictive.