Sunday, October 23, 2016

reviews - THE GLASS MENAGERIE - Fountain Hills Theater

Quinn Johnson and Shari Watts
Photo by Patty Torrilhon
highlights from local critics reviews - (click link at bottom of each review to read complete review)

Click here for more information on this production that runs through October 30th.

"Tennessee Williams' autobiographical "memory play" The Glass Menagerie is an emotional and captivating drama that delves into the dynamics of a family that includes a dominating mother who only wants the best for her two children. With a mesmerizing performance by Shari Watts, aided by a trio of talented actors and sure-footed direction, Fountain Hills Theater's production of this classic is a must see... looks back at one tragic moment in the past and shows how Tom's incisive recollections of regret are the result of the combination of responsibility and family dysfunction that can ultimately force someone to flee. ..it is a passionate, personal piece that is full of intimacy, which works well for the small Fountain Hills space. Under Ben Tyler's assured direction the cast deliver well thought out, layered and truthful portrayals. Shari Watts is luminous as the talkative, hovering and pestering Amanda. ...I've seen Watts in numerous productions across the Valley and she never fails to impress with her well thought out, honest, and always exceptional performances. Quinn Johnson and Shannon Phelps are very good as Tom and Laura. Johnson..holds his own with Watts...and he clearly represents the pain and suffering that are behind the decisions and actions that Tom makes. Phelps is perfect as the self-conscious, damaged, fragile and shy Laura, who has a limp and seeks comfort in her collection of miniature glass figurines. Jack Lambert is sensational as Jim, the gentleman caller, an energetic, polite man who comes over for dinner. The scene that Phelps and Lambert share is full of heart yet also heartbreaking. Jeff Blake's set design does well to portray the enclosed, claustrophobic feel in the apartment that forces Tom to continually seek solace and peace elsewhere. Patricia Tonzi's costumes are stunning representations of the period, and the evocative lighting design by Peter J. Hill echoes the shadows of the past that the play represents. ...The Glass Menagerie is a simple yet captivating and moving story filled with a heightened sense of melancholy and compassion. Fountain Hills delivers an intoxicating combination of superb performances and clear and concise direction which results in a superb and sensitive production of this classic Tennessee Williams play. " -Gil Benbrook, Talkin' Broadway (click here to read the complete review)

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