Last week, I had a rare opportunity to see a mid-morning production of a play — the Olney Theatre’s production of Tennessee Williams’ The Glass Menagerie. But while sneaking out of work for a half-day brought a sense of clandestine fun, the chief pleasure was the production itself, a fine and notably intimate staging of Williams’ great early play in the smallest of Olney’s three stages. All four of the performances were top-notch with particular kudos, in my opinion, to both Michael Kaye’s performance as Tom Wingfield and to the way director Jim Petosa keeps Kaye hovering at the edge of the action, around corners or perched on the edge of a balcony, watching, waiting, his own reactions sometimes at odds with what’s happening on stage; even at the main action’s lightest, sweetest moments, Kaye’s expressions and reactions remind us of the undercurrent of melancholy and of trouble still to come.
If I had one trouble with the production, it was that the play’s considerable humor, albeit it dark, didn’t seem to spark much laughter in the audience — whether the fault of presentation, of the smaller audience that morning, or of the fact that it was only 10:15 a.m. when the play started, I’m not sure.
Still: Highly recommended. And be sure to check out today’s Washington Post review of the production too.