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Review Round-Up: “The Glass Menagerie” Returns to Broadway

September 30th, 2013
"The Glass Menagerie" (photo: Michael J. Lutch)

“The Glass Menagerie” (photo: Michael J. Lutch)

Broadway’s favorite dysfunctional family is back in a revival of Tennessee Williams’ The Glass Menagerie. What do the critics think of this classic tale of overbearing mother, waif-like daughter and handsome suitor? This is what they have to say…

“How can something be this delicate and this strong, so elusive and yet so tenacious? That question radiates from John Tiffany’s stunning production of Tennessee Williams’s “Glass Menagerie,” which opened on Thursday night at the Booth Theater and promises to be the most revealing revival of a cornerstone classic for many a year to come.

More than any interpretation I’ve seen of the 1944 drama that made Williams’s name, this “Menagerie” — which stars Cherry Jones and Zachary Quinto in career-defining performances — finds the brute force in a play often described, a bit condescendingly, as lyrical, wispy, elegiac. Yes, the tapered fingers of poetry shape “The Glass Menagerie.” But when these fingers curl into a fist — and they do so again and again in this production, before you quite realize it — be prepared to have the breath knocked out of you.” The New York Times

“Memory floats on a giant plane of regret in American Repertory Theater’s epic and intimate production of “The Glass Menagerie,” trapped forever between a shimmering black sea and an endless void that even an infinite fire escape can’t reach. Tennessee Williams’ world of poetry and prose is presented gracefully, even wondrously, in this distinctive production — helmed by John Tiffany (“Once”) and starring Cherry Jones and Zachary Quinto — that no doubt will have Gotham’s gentlemen and women coming to call, even if sometimes it’s just awkward and disconnected.” Variety

Cherry Jones in "The Glass Menagerie." (photo: Michael J. Lutch)

Cherry Jones in “The Glass Menagerie.” (photo: Michael J. Lutch)

“There’s magic from start to finish at the Booth Theatre, where the new production of Tennessee William’s great play about regret opened Thursday starring a superb Cherry Jones and a revelatory Zachary Quinto. It’s evocative, sometimes surreal and sublimely organic — the perfect package for a play about faded and frayed memories.” The Associated Press

“The overbearing matriarch in Tennessee Williams’ semi-autobiographical classic The Glass Menagerie can, in the wrong hands, emerge as something of a monster. But as played by Cherry Jones in the magnificent and harrowing new revival… Jones, one of the greatest stage actresses alive, conveys this in a performance that will amaze even her most ardent admirers in its depth and compassion. Her Amanda is warm and funny and, without question, dedicated to her offspring; watching Jones scrunch her wonderfully expressive face into a broad grin when she is happy for Tom or Laura, you’ll bathe in Amanda’s maternal pleasure.” USA Today

The Glass Menagerie
Booth Theatre
222 West 45th Street

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