Pacified by a pre-show serving of *Little Baby’s* ice cream, the Renegade Company’s audience sat in a cozy room with broken victrola records scattered on the floor. Our tummies filled with ice cream, we walk into Tom Wingfield’s dimly lit apartment like happy toddlers walking into a funeral. GLASS: SHATTERED, a deconstruction of Tennessee Williams’s The Glass Menagerie is a wake of sorts.
I have loved The Glass Menagerie since I was eight years old. It was the first play I ever read. So while Eric Scotolati, as Tom Wingfield, clings to the memory of his mother Amanda, and his sister Laura; I was clingling to my own recollection of Williams’s play as if it was part of my DNA.
With this in mind, I found problems with the interpretation: The reimagining focuses on Tom’s love of the movies, but when Tom says: “I’m going to the movies” in the original, he did not really go to the movies. Just as Laura tells her mother that she is attending the Rubicam’s business college, but she really spends her days in the park. The allusion to Amanda as Joan Crawford/Mommie Dearest is also problematic. St. Louis of the 1930s was harsh for a woman alone with two children and Amanda is trying her best to protect them.
But comparisons to The Glass Menagerie are irrelevant; Durkin’s GLASS: SHATTERED is an entirely different play. Durkin has bravely constructed an entirely new piece based on two sentences extracted from The Glass Menagerie’s stage directions: “Memory takes a lot of poetic license. It omits some details; others are exaggerated, according to the emotional value of the articles it touches, for memory is seated predominantly in the heart.”
During the performance I saw, there was an impromptu moment that would make the late Andy Kaufman proud. The Wingfield home movies are projected on the wall and ceiling. Scotolati as Tom sits in the first row, watching the films, scribbling notes. An audience member approached him, inquiring: “Is anyone sitting next to you?” Scotolati replied plainly “No”. The audience member sat down, and asked: “Are you part of the show?” Scotolati replied: “I’m just watching this film I shot.” before introducing himself to the room announcing: “My name is Tom. I am a filmmaker enamored with the films of Felini, and Herzog.” His iPhone rings “O, I gotta take this. Sorry” We wait as he takes the phone call center stage as silent home movies play above our heads. June 5 to 22, 2013, therenegadecompany.org.