Archive for October, 2005
Kerri KanelosSunday, October 9th, 2005
Category: Aht Reviews No Comments »
In light of recent events in the United States and around the world, many people are searching for God, the meaning of life, or a spiritual connection-anything that can explain the tragedies that continue to surround us every day. The great American playwright Tennessee Williams often tackled these feelings in his pieces, including Suddenly Last Summer that is now playing at Trinity Repertory Company. Directed by Mark Sutch, this is the first Williams’ play showing at Trinity Rep in over fourteen years.
Williams’ writing style, referred to as “southern gothic,” usually includes outrageously tragic stories and discussions that consume his characters. Suddenly Last Summer is no exception. This rarely performed piece hints at the underbelly of society-incest, greed, deception, fear and even cannibalism. Most characters in this piece, no matter how innocent they seem from the beginning, end up showing the ugly side of the human condition at some point during the performance.
The story centers on Mrs. Venable (performed by Trinity veteran Barbara Meek), a once-powerful socialite who is determined to learn about the situation surrounding her son Sebastian’s death in Cabeza de Lobo, Spain. From Mrs. Venable conversations, one can determine that she sacrificed her own life for her son’s quest to become a famous poet. She often followed him to the ends of the earth, including soirées in Paris and a particularly disturbing trip to the Galapagos Islands in which Sebastian felt he saw the face of God when carnivorous birds feasted on newly hatched sea turtles. The only witness to the death was Sebastian’s cousin Catharine (performed by Brown/Trinity Rep Consortium graduate Miriam Silverman) who now resides at St. Mary’s mental institution.