A review of A STREETCAR NAMED DESIRE by Dee Tua'one:

"Immediately I was jarred out of my comfort zone by loud insistant performers. It was effective. It made me really search for familar ground. I found it beneath those bombastic facades on the stage. Steaming beneath the surface of a bare studio apartment were nuanced emotions pulled, even dragged under the yelling. Deena Marie Manzanares pressed, frantic Blanche kept my utter attention. As if she were always running from something, looking past steady eyes and over shoulders. It was her subtle and constant loss of herself, from beginning to climax, that kept my eyes on the stage. The contrast presented by Aaron Adams self assured, steadfast Stanley is terrifying. His intent stalking of Blanche seems to start from the moment he meets her. It is a spectacle (side note: the session of homosexuals surrounding me kept gasping, flailing and moaning every time he undressed in front of us. Stage left is definitely the seat, praise Jesus).

The expansive space lent itself well to the story. With the story happening directly in your face and nothing behind you to turn away to. It makes you squirm. You experience the play. With sparse sets and incredibly intimate seating, the direction suffocates you (in the most delicious ways) like louisiana humidity. It is one of the best shows I've seen in years. I only have small nitpicks, rushed lines and missed cues that I fully intend to chalk up to an opening night excursion. Besides, perfection takes me out of a moment, especially in a show based on human flaws."

by Tennessee Williams...

March 20-28
tickets: smithtix.com
116 s rio grande street (the gateway)