Family is a common root we all hope to have: good bad, pretty, or ugly. The, “Glass Menagerie” is a four-character memory play written by Tennesse Williams and first performed in 1945. As my grandmother always says, “we keep the fun in dysfunctional” when referring to our large family. We can all agree that every one’s family has some degree of crazy quirks. The “Glass Menagerie” focuses on one broken family and how they deal with their issues. Every “real” family has quirks and so does the Wingfield family. Tom (Jason Peterson) plays two roles, the narrator and son of Amanda (Katherine Ferrand). Laura (Carolyn Trapskin) is Tom’s
older sister. Her mother, Amanda is obsessed with finding her a male suitor. Laura is a shy young woman and always has been. She is self conscious because she has a crippled foot and recalls times when others looked at her because she wore a brace. She had no belief in herself so it held her back from life. Instead of turning to people and the outside world, Laura spends time with her glass menagerie of little glass animals. They bring her comfort and joy in a world where she doesn’t have much of either.
As time goes on, Amanda continues to fuss over Laura having a gentleman caller. She begs Tom to bring a male friend home from the warehouse where he works to meet their family. Tom is unhappy with his life and is told that once his sister is married off, he can leave to do whatever he wants. One day he brings a friend whom he has known since high school, Jim (Josef Buchel). Laura is completely startled. She knew him in high school because they sang in choir together. Jim is a kind man and brings out the best in Laura. He helps her to build confidence by focusing on her strengths, not her disability. As soon as she shows him her glass collection they begin to dance. Jim kisses Laura, but then tells her of his steady girlfriend Betty. This is a disappointment to Amanda and Laura. When Amanda takes out her
frustrations on Tom he flees and doesn’t come back home. The play closes with a sense of regret. As one can imagine, it is not a happy ending.
The show was done incredibly well. The Yellow Tree Theatre does a wonderful job of providing intimate plays in a beautiful setting. The cast was superb. Katherine Ferrand was the perfect mother. You were drawn to her southern belle charm and her long monologues. This winter this blogger saw, “Miracle on Christmas Lake 2” with Carolyn Trapskin. She was phenomenal in that show and I was looking forward to seeing her again. As Laura she was more quiet and reserved as her character required. Her smiles relayed the message that she was a happy girl but didn’t have many words to say. Jason Peterson hit the nail on the head with his dry tone and non-caring demeanour. You could tell he loved his sister but his mother
and job drove him crazy to the point of leaving. Josef Buchel was the perfect gentleman caller. He was bubbly, fun, and full of life. Each person played their role wonderfully and told the story very well.
If you are a lover of theater I would highly suggest this show. Every family has a story to tell. Some end well and some don’t. Come take a look inside the life of a family whose story may be old but can continue to teach us lessons to this day.
The Glass Menagerie
April 13-May 6