Review of 'Two by Tennessee Williams'

By Bob Evans

Kansas City Fringe audiences get the rare chance to see a distinguished playwright’s one-act plays prior to their fall debut in New York City as Home Grown Theatre Co. brings “I Can’t Imagine Tomorrow” and “Green Eyes” to the Fringe stage of Kansas City’s Arts Asylum.

Two talented performers portray characters in two plays by the noted playwright that draw heavily on his traditional, tormented characters.  Like other works by Williams, the sultry heat of the South plays heavily in his steamy one-acts.  Characters appear to be struggling against their own reality as they fight to escape their tragic positions.   Flawed characters keep the nervous intensity of Williams’ creations straining to escape their fates.

“I Can’t Imagine Tomorrow” brings older woman whose secluded life continues in tormented pain.  Her only connection outside her house, a young man with psychological and emotional problems, gives her solace in the card games they play nightly.  She wants to escape her pain while he seeks a way to ease his own personal struggles.

“Green Eyes” opens on newlyweds in New Orleans after a night of booze and sex.   Again, characters with painful stories struggle to find their peace and place in the steamy Garden District of New Orleans, where morning steam resembles rainfall.  In this short piece, characters examine their current situation, uncertain future, and fractured past.  A night of booze and sex evolves into a hot mess as only Tennessee Williams could pen.  The play has a feel of a brawl between characters in other Williams’ plays, specifically “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof” with Maggie and Brick examining their relationship, pasts, and futures.

The performance fills the hour with a brief intermission between acts to set for the next play.  Acoustics are not great because of the necessary air conditioning needed to quell the hot temps outside.  Hint: Sit as close as possible to the stage.

 

Home Grown Theatre Co. (New York, NY)

A rare chance to see two one-act plays by the great Tennessee Williams, the author of A Streetcar Named Desire, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, and The Glass Menagerie. In Two By Tennessee Williams Kansas City Audiences will see the local premiers of Williams’ one act plays I Can’t Imagine Tomorrow and Green Eyes performed back to back before this production premiers in New York in the fall. From the company behind Really, Really (Fringe ’15) and Princess Bride(Fringe ’14) Warning: Adult Language

Theatre | 60m | Rated PG

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