"A STREETCAR NAMED DESIRE" A STEAMY RIDE


BONNIE GOLDBERG

Where do you go when all your options have evaporated, when all your bridges have been burned, when you find yourself alone and virtually friendless? If you are Blanche DuBois, you have "lost" your ancestral home Beau Rive, you have "lost" your teaching position, you have "lost" your moral compass and you can only go to the place where you have some expectation of welcome: to your family.

Enter the limiting and frightening world of Miss DeBois, that Southern belle who has fluttered her fan and batted her eyes with a disappointing effect in Tennessee Williams' involving drama "A Streetcar Named Desire." The Yale Repertory Theatre in New Haven will be airing her petticoats and feminine wiles in an absorbing production until Saturday, October 12.

Rene Augesen is outstanding as the flirtacious female who has wandered from the path, but still harbors hopes of fulfilling her dreams. With a trunk full of silks and furs, and a tiara worthy of a princess, she has landed on her sister's doorstep unannounced. Sister Stella, beautifully portrayed by Sarah Sokolovic, takes her in with welcoming arms, in direct contrast to the suspicious and bullying reaction of Stella's husband Stanley, a magnificently combative Joe Manganiello.

For a moment it seems like Blanche will land on her feet when a poker playing friend of Stan's, a bachelor Mitch (Adam O'Byrne), enters her orbit, like a fly to her captivating spider's web. But Stan's aspersions, his violent temper and bouts of alcoholism are doomed to strip her of her sanity. This compelling tale, directed by Mark Rucker with intriguing force, will keep you involved for all three dramatic hours.

For tickets ($20-98), call the Yale Repertory Theatre at 203-432-1234 or online at www.yalerep.org. Performances are Tuesday at 8 p.m., Wednesday at 2 p.m. and 8 p.m., Thursday at 8 p.m., Friday at 8 p.m., and Saturday at 2 p.m. and 8 p.m. at the University Theatre, 222 York Street, New Haven.

Hope aboard the New Orleans streetcar named Desire and enter the 1947 world of two sisters Blanche and Stella. The French Quarter will capture you in its steamy claws and hold you tight.

 

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