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Tennessee Williams

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Well, he had lost the love of his life to cancer, I believe - and his plays just became much darker in tone.

 

I do think that his plays post-"The Night of the Iguana" should be re-evaluated.

 

 

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Well, he had lost the love of his life to cancer, I believe - and his plays just became much darker in tone.

 

I do think that his plays post-"The Night of the Iguana" should be re-evaluated.

 

Which ones do you feel are the most under-valued?

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Which ones do you feel are the most under-valued?

Jarrod, off the top of my head -

 

1, The Eccentricities of a Nightingale

 

2. The Milk Train Doesn't Stop Here Anymore

 

3. The Seven Descents of Mrytle

 

4. In The Bar Of A Tokyo Hotel

 

5. Out Cry

 

6. Vieux Carre

 

7. A Lovely Sunday On Creve Coeur

 

8. Clothes For A Summer Hotel

 

9. Something Cloudy, Something Clear

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Jarrod, off the top of my head -

 

7. A Lovely Sunday On Creve Coeur

 

 

Glad you mentioned this one. It's pretty obvious to anyone who's read the play that writer Susan Harris borrowed from it when she wrote the pilot for her sitcom The Golden Girls. In fact, one of the four women in Williams' play is a teacher named Dorothea-- and Harris's "creation" Dorothy (played by Bea Arthur) is also a teacher. There are many more similarities with the other characters and basic set-up. 

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The recent West Coast production of "Something Cloudy,  Something Clear" which is about Williams' relationship with an aspiring dancer -

 

 

1024x1024.jpg

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"Something Cloudy, Something Clear", which was done in an Off-Off Broadway theater in the early 80's, is a lovely gem of a play - it's primarily about an older man - always appearing as his youthful, hopeful self, remembering the losses in his life - an early Broadway production which was rough on him, and his attraction to a terminally ill young man, Kip, who had a brotherly attachment to a young, damaged woman who was also dying - the play is set in the most idyllic of enviroments, Provincetown, Rhode Island - it's baslcally a confessional play - and one that Tennesse Williams chose to share with us - the critical reception was brutal - which is very, very sad - by this time, Tennessee Williams was writing a very different kind of play - that's right, he had grown as an artist.    

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"Something Cloudy, Something Clear", which was done in an Off-Off Broadway theater in the early 80's, is a lovely gem of a play - it's primarily about an older man - always appearing as his youthful, hopeful self, remembering the losses in his life - an early Broadway production which was rough on him, and his attraction to a terminally ill young man, Kip, who had a brotherly attachment to a young, damaged woman who was also dying - the play is set in the most idyllic of enviroments, Provincetown, Rhode Island - it's baslcally a confessional play - and one that Tennesse Williams chose to share with us - the critical reception was brutal - which is very, very sad - by this time, Tennessee Williams was writing a very different kind of play - that's right, he had grown as an artist.    

 

Sounds very interesting, Ray. I will need to get a copy and read it.

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"Something Cloudy, Something Clear", which was done in an Off-Off Broadway theater in the early 80's, is a lovely gem of a play - it's primarily about an older man - always appearing as his youthful, hopeful self, remembering the losses in his life - an early Broadway production which was rough on him, and his attraction to a terminally ill young man, Kip, who had a brotherly attachment to a young, damaged woman who was also dying - the play is set in the most idyllic of enviroments, Provincetown, Rhode Island - it's baslcally a confessional play - and one that Tennesse Williams chose to share with us - the critical reception was brutal - which is very, very sad - by this time, Tennessee Williams was writing a very different kind of play - that's right, he had grown as an artist.    

Just to clarify, Provincetown is at the tip of Cape Cod, Massachusetts. I'm partial to the area, so I wanted to make the correction. The idyllic environment you mentioned has been mostly preserved thanks to the Cape Cod National Seashore, so the sand dunes which are the setting for the play can still be experienced as they were in Williams' day. There is an annual Tennessee Williams Festival each September and "Something Cloudy, Something Clear" has been performed, as has a much earlier and shorter version of the same story, "Parade". It's a terrific festival, akin to the the annual festival in New Orleans, and features performance groups from around the world, as well as newly unearthed material. 

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Has there ever been a biopic (even a TV movie) about Williams? I don't remember one.

No, but the actor, Ray Stricklyn (who has since died) did a one-man theatrical piece.

 

ConfessionofaNightingale.jpg

 

It played at the Beverly Hills Playhouse for a year.

 

Then it moved to Broadway and even toured for another year.

 

It ended up at The Edinburgh Festival.

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No, but the actor, Ray Stricklyn (who has since died) did a one-man theatrical piece.

 

ConfessionofaNightingale.jpg

 

It played at the Beverly Hills Playhouse for a year.

 

Then it moved to Broadway and even toured for another year.

 

It ended up at The Edinburgh Festival.

 

Thank you Ray. Good to know!

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 - a star was almost born -

 

Sounds like a great topic for its own thread/discussion. There were many like this in Hollywood. 

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Sounds like a great topic for its own thread/discussion. There were many like this in Hollywood. 

Jarrod -

 

I agree, young actors, actresses, who almost became stars, would make for a very interesting thread.

 

And we could start with Ray Stricklyn.

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Jarrod -

 

I agree, young actors, actresses, who almost became stars, would make for a very interesting thread.

 

And we could start with Ray Stricklyn.

 

Okay, well I like the conversation we've had about Tennessee Williams here so I don't want to disrupt it. Did you want to make a new thread about actors that were not quite stars? Or should I?

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A couple of Tennessee's plays that (I don't think) have been mentioned but which I like:

 

A Lovely Sunday for Creve Coeur -- a touching one-act play, but with a hilarious account of Bodey's trip to the butcher:

 

Bodey: "Mr. Butts, have you got any real nice fryers?"

 

Bodey quoting the butcher: "You bet your life," he said. "I must of been expectin' you to drop in. Feel these nice plump fryers."

 

Bodey: "Mr. Butts always lets me feel his meat."

 

Clothes for a Summer Hotel was not a success. It's about Scott Fitzgerald's visit to Zelda in the asylum. Zelda has a haunting monologue. I don't remember enough of it to quote it, but it's beautiful. Williams, who visited his sister in any asylum, identified with Scott.

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Okay, well I like the conversation we've had about Tennessee Williams here so I don't want to disrupt it. Did you want to make a new thread about actors that were not quite stars? Or should I?

Jarrod, you'd do a better job of it, I am sure.

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Jarrod, you'd do a better job of it, I am sure.

 

Okay...I will make a new thread about it in this sub-forum.

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A bio film about Williams would make a great movie with the right script and the right cast- Williams would be a challenging Oscar bait role- but who would you cast?

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A bio film about Williams would make a great movie with the right script and the right cast- Williams would be a challenging Oscar bait role- but who would you cast?

 

Unfortunately, the one I would have cast is no longer living-- but I think Phillip Seymour Hoffman could have done it well.

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Unfortunately, the one I would have cast is no longer living-- but I think Phillip Seymour Hoffman could have done it well.

I would try to get Jake Gyllenhaal - who has those great eyes and would not be afraid to do gay love scenes and James Franco for Frank Merlo   https://youtu.be/ytEORri27xE here is Franco as Ginsberg

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I would try to get Jake Gyllenhaal - who has those great eyes and would not be afraid to do gay love scenes and James Franco for Frank Merlo 

 

A good question is who'd play Rose, his sister? 

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