"BIG DADDY HAS ALWAYS FAVORED BRICK."
Captivating interpretation... A defining moment in Drury Lane’s stirring production of Tennessee Williams’ Cat on a Hot Tin Roof occurs when Big Mama, resigned to a certain future that she has heretofore denied, slowly climbs the sweeping staircase toward Big Daddy’s bedroom. She is intent on working her way back into any personal space left in a man she has loved unconditionally, who is now terminally ill, bitter and stoked with avarice. The hopelessness of the situation is writ large throughout Cindy Gold’s riveting performance of director Marcia Milgrom Dodge’s captivating interpretation.
Everyone on edge... In Big Daddy’s sprawling estate, the family has gathered to celebrate his 65th birthday. There is a cloud of uncertainty around the recent results of a medical examination and why his son Brick and wife Maggie have yet to produce an heir. The other son, Gooper, and his wife Mae, have produced five children of their own – with another on the way – who have just about everyone on edge. Nothing Gooper and Mae do matters much because Big Daddy has always favored Brick. But with Brick immobilized by a broken leg and prisoner to his spiraling depression and alcohol dependency, Maggie becomes fearful of losing everything and starts battering him into submission.
Lost expectations... Director Marcia Milgrom Dodge skillfully unearths the tense relationship between Big Daddy and Brick which is at the disturbing core of this drama exposing the pain of lost expectations and the fear of choosing those we love and living with the consequences. Self-interest has a powerful place in the room, which Big Daddy says is permeated with “the unpleasant odor of mendacity... it smells like death.”
Master manipulator... Genevieve Angelson’s Maggie is a scorcher, tipping around the corners of her own vulnerability, savoring the ability to twist perceptions as Brick’s master manipulator, preparing to take charge and forge her own future. Anthony Bowden’s Brick is resolute and defiant, equal parts obsessed, contrite and then emboldened in the face of the commanding performance of Matt DeCaro as Big Daddy. DeCaro’s fierce indignation is magnified so intensely in Gold’s heart-wrenching Big Mama that we are allowed to fully experience the transformation from the depths of her anguish to her stalwart determination to survive at all costs.
Fine supporting performances...Michael Milligan (Gooper) and Gail Rastorfer (Mae) deliver fine supporting performances in a cast that includes Craig Spidle (Doctor Baugh), Joe Bianco (Reverend Tooker), Reginal Robinson, Jr. (Lacey) and a featured performance by Donica Lynn (Sookey) whose soaring vocals add depth to the drama.
Superbly woven together... The setting, a majestic and expansive upper floor suite of a decaying mansion, is the work of Kevin Depinet, complimented by Sully Ratke costumes, Driscoll Otto lighting|projection and Ray Nardelli sound, superbly woven together for an enormously satisfying experience.
PHOTOS|Bruce Beiner Photography
CAT ON A HOT TIN ROOF
Written by Tennesee Williams
Directed by Marcia Milgrom Dodge
through August 16th
100 Drury Lane