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  The Glass Menagerie at Theater Wit

The Glass Menagerie

Theater Wit
1229 W Belmont Ave Chicago

The Glass Menagerie, presented by Mary-Arrchie Theatre, focuses on a man obsessed with regrets from his past. Living on the streets, he navigates an audience through the gritty back-alleys of his imagination. Truth and delusion collide in this reimagining of Tennessee Williams' classic memory play.

Thru - Aug 25, 2013

Price: $32-$37

Show Type: Drama

Box Office: 773-871-0442

  The Glass Menagerie Reviews
  • Highly Recommended
  • Recommended
  • Somewhat Recommended
  • Not Recommended

Chicago Tribune - Highly Recommended

"...After selling out its entire run in a flash at Mary-Arrchie last winter ó turning hundreds of people away ó and then losing some of its crucial cast members to other productions, Hans Fleischmann's exquisitely beautiful show has now been remounted in a large and somewhat more challenging space at Theater Wit, replete with the entire original cast of Joanne Dubach, Walter Briggs, Maggie Cain and Fleischmann himself, playing the role of the narrator, Tom."
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Chris Jones

Chicago Sun Times - Highly Recommended

"...Fleischmann sets Williams' play in motion with the sound of discordant but elegiac violins followed by the jangling of glass bottles collected by a homeless man carrying a steel crate. The man is Tom (the playwright's alter ego), and with his measured, sonorous voice and his subtle. confidence-game sparkle, the actor makes you hear the inner music of Williams' words as you have never heard them before. (If this is your first acquaintance with this "memory play," simply consider yourself lucky.)"
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Hedy Weiss

Chicago Reader - Highly Recommended

"...Any good production of The Glass Menagerie needs to convey the aching authenticity of autobiography. Tom signals as much in his opening monologue, when he promises that the show will deliver "truth in the pleasant disguise of illusion." Hans Fleischmann's fascinating revisionist staging for Mary-Arrchie Theatre delivers that ache from its opening moments, even before anyone has appeared onstage. In the darkness we hear 30 seconds of a string quartet playing a circular, irresolute piece by Daniel Knox, in which each instrument seems to search vainly for harmony with the others. The same sense of futility is everywhere present in Fleischmann's intelligently acted, exquisitely paced show-despite the fact that it turns the Williams/Tom equation on its head."
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Justin Hayford

Windy City Times - Highly Recommended

"...Grant Sabin's scenic design in the cozy Angel Island extends the play's environment out into the audience area to immerse us in our dramatic universe, as does Daniel Knox's score of ambient music, and Arianna Soloway's hypnotic glassware arrangements invoke a dreamlike dazzle. In the role of the shy Laura Wingfield, Joanna Dubach rejects the standard porcelain-barbie persona to convey an intensity bespeaking potential rendered all the more tragic by its impeded growth, while Maggie Cain endows the dominating Amanda Wingfield with wholly viable concerns beneath her absurd solutions, and Walter Briggs projects just the right level of dogged serenity as the optimistic Jim O'Conner."
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Mary Shen Barnidge

Centerstage - Highly Recommended

"...Utliziing original music by Daniel Knox, and moody, expressive lighting by Matthew Gawryk, not to mention Williams' rarely-used title projections, Fleischmann has a created a show that is both true to its source and an electrifying reinvention. It's best described as a "Glass Menagerie" that's exactly as weird as Williams always intended it to be."

Alex Huntsberger

Chicagoist - Highly Recommended

"...Chicago is no stranger to the familiar Tennesee Williams play The Glass Menagerie. The current incarnation put on by The Mary-Arrchie Theater Company is the third production of Williams' iconic memory play just this year - Redtwist Theatre and the Steppenwolf both put on worthy productions over the summer. But thanks largely to the commendable cast and creative scenic design, the intimate, unpolished show taking place in the cozy Angel Island Theater manages to be the most affecting version yet."
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Melody Udell

Time Out Chicago - Recommended

"...Tom references the importance of music in a memory play, and the discordant strings of Daniel Knox's original score amplify the unnerving quality of Fleischmann's concept. Grant Sabin's set is littered with glass bottles and candleholders, abstract visualizations of Laura's titular menagerie. Tom and his sister both escape the distressing real world through glass; the fantasy that exists in a wine bottle can be just as tragic as that in a unicorn figurine."
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Oliver Sava

Chicago On the Aisle - Highly Recommended

"...One of the delights of this 2013 Chicago summer is a gently revisionist production by Marie-Arrchie Theatre, conceived and directed by Hans Fleischmann, who also plays the role of Tom. After selling out last fall at Angel Island and transferring to Theater Wit in May, the show has extended its run to July 28."
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Nancy Malitz

Stage and Cinema - Highly Recommended

"...After seeing over a dozen Glass Menageries, I had thought, quite wrongly, that Williams' seemingly inexhaustible script had been explored to its limits. Not so. Mary-Arrchie's revival, a surefire hit on Sheridan Road as it will be on Belmont Avenue, makes the magic matter more than ever. "Blow out your candles, Laura." Indeed."
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Lawrence Bommer

ChicagoCritic - Highly Recommended

"...Featuring the breathless scenic design of Grant Sabin and a hauntingly melodic original score by Daniel Knox, this dreamy and atmospheric production shouldn't be missed. And even if it isn't strictly true to the letter of Williams's own life, it is exceptionally true to the spirit of it."
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Anthony J. Mangini

Let's Play at ChicagoNow - Highly Recommended

"...Figuratively and literally, every choice Tom/Fleischmann made has resulted in this very personal depiction of life's hope and regret. The dark despair with twinkling beauty will linger with you long after you leave the theatre. THE GLASS MENAGERIE is handcrafted and one-of-a-kind. This innovative production is a must see!"
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Katy Walsh

Around The Town Chicago - Highly Recommended

"...Directed by Hans Fleischmann , who also takes on the lead role of Tom ( the narrator, story teller that is in reality, Williams himself) on a unique set by Grant Sabin. For those of you unfamiliar with this company and its theater- Mary-Arrchie is located at Angel Island, a second floor "storefront" located at 735 Sheridan Road ( at Broadway), This is a unique venue in its intimacy that allows less glitz to their productions, but more depth in the telling of their stories."
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Alan Bresloff

Chicago Theatre Review - Highly Recommended

"...In a play that most audiences will have most likely experienced at some time, if only in their high school English classes, this production stands out as quintessential and certainly the finest ever staged in Chicago. If you see just one play this year, this is should be the one. Like Tomís memories of Amanda, Laura and her collection of glass, this brilliant production will linger in the memory long after Laura has blown out her candles."

Colin Douglas

Chicagoland Theater Reviews - Highly Recommended

"...Patrons who thought they knew "The Glass Menagerie" from its numerous revivals will be moved, astonished, and gratified by the Mary-Arrchie endeavor. They will be witness to one of those rare occasions in the theater when concept and execution mesh into a seamless whole-four performances at a perfect pitch in the service of a brilliant vision of a masterpiece of American drama."

Dan Zeff

Chicago Theater Beat - Recommended

"...There's a place for risk-taking in the service of a piece like The Glass Menagerie. It's so frequently produced (due to its classic status and simple production demands of one small set and four actors) that we have many opportunities to see it performed traditionally. Fleischman asks us here, just this once, to look at the play from a different angle and learn something new about this classic. In spite of the production's other excesses, Fleischmann's concept and the fine acting of the cast make this production well worth a look."

John Olson

  Related Articles

Staring Into The Glass: Mary-Arrchie Theatre's Glass Menagerie
From Theatre In Chicago
Mary Shen Barnidge

  The Glass Menagerie Photo Gallery

   This show has been Jeff Recommended*

*The designation of "Jeff Recommended" is given to a production when at least ONE ELEMENT of the show was deemed outstanding by the Joseph Jefferson Awards Committee.

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