Tennessee Williams’ classic story comes to life on the stage of Act II Playhouse. THE GLASS MENAGERIE is set in St. Louis in the 1930’s. Amanda Wingfield (Carla Belver), left by her husband many years ago, lives with her two grown children Laura (Amanda Schoonover) and Tom (Charlie DelMarcelle). Tom is the main provider for the family. As he dreams of adventure, he works a thankless warehouse job at a shoe factory. Amanda learns Laura had secretly dropped out of business school and instead wandered through town when she should have been in class. As a child, Laura wore a leg brace and grew into a painfully shy young woman with only her glass collection – THE GLASS MENAGERIE – to keep her company. Her mother – who frequently revels in stories of her popular Southern Belle past with many suitors – worries what will become of their family, particularly Laura who has no income and no gentlemen callers. She hopes Tom can invite a friend to meet her. He invites Jim O’Connor (Sean Bradley) who finds her awkwardness refreshingly unique.
Yet again, James J. Christy directs another wonderful performance. The expert lighting (James Leitner) and set (Daniel Boylen) allow the actors to flow around the stage and through scenes seamlessly. The actors were believable allowing the audience to become invested in the personal emotions of the characters and feel like a fly on the wall in real family moments. THE GLASS MENAGERIE is an honest, compelling story about how family, society, and personal desires affect more than just ourselves. THE GLASS MENAGERIE [Act II Playhouse, Ambler] October 28–November 23, 2014; act2.org.