Tess McHugh as Blanche DuBois and Sam Crane as The Doctor in A Streetcar Named Desire at WilliamsTheatre. Photo © 2011 Michael Miller.

Tennessee Williams at 100, Two Early Impressions: Vieux Carré from the Wooster Group and Streetcar at Williams

There can be no doubt that Tennessee Williams was the preeminent American playwright of his time—at least for a period which, sadly, covered only eighteen years of his life, beginning with his first great Broadway success, “The Glass Menagerie” in 1944 and ending with his last great Broadway success, “The Night of the Iguana,” in 1962. Between those years Williams wrote a series of profound, deeply-affecting works, in which a heady atmosphere originating from his deep southern origins proved irresistable to New York critics and audiences, not to mention certain Hollywood producers and enough people in-between to bring him wealth and celebrity. After “Night of the Iguana,” it all ended as swiftly as it began. His later productions irritated critics and audiences with their lush language and melodrama, if it made much of an impression on them at all.

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