note: entire contents copyright 2005 by Beverly Creasey
I lost all objectivity at the Lyric Stage’s production of Tennessee Williams’ THE GLASS MENAGERIE. I’ve become so accustomed to an Amanda Wingfield who is a witch…a self-important mother with little or no concern for her children, that I was caught of guard when Nancy Carroll appeared to be quite sympathetic, even charming. Misguided perhaps, but Carroll’s mother genuinely cares about her children in director Eric Engel’s take on family dynamics.
With her hair in a loose bun at the back of her head, dressed in Rafael Jaen’s ‘40s costumes, railing against drink, Carroll is a dead ringer for my mother. If that weren’t enough to unnerve me, a gentleman caller arrived, who looked just like an old boyfriend, his hair slicked back, pencil mustache sitting uneasily under his nose (and yes, he’s in my high school yearbook, too.)
Carroll’s performance lifted my spirits and gave me the chance to see my mother in full swing again. I luxuriated in Vincent Siders’ mellifluous narration and powerful presence as the son who is driven away …but I never even noticed Laura, she was so low key. Perhaps that is Engel’s intention, to show us how she was lost altogether.