A TERRIFIC PRODUCTION
HARTFORD STAGE – THE MILK TRAIN DOESN’T STOP HERE ANY MORE
BOB: Looks like Hartford Stage Company is bringing to a conclusion its marathon of works by Tennessee Williams.
KAREN: Although I suspect that in the future there will be a few more wonderful Williams’ plays.
BOB: This The Milk Train Doesn’t Stop Here Anymore which is a 1963 play and Williams had a couple of good years after this, but this is towards the end of his career.
KAREN: This is directed by Michael Wilson who has directed the entire Marathon and he is an extraordinary interpreter of Williams.
BOB: And an extraordinary director period.
KAREN: It stars Olympia Dukakis and Kevin Anderson. And let’s give you a brief summary of the plot. In the play, Dukakis plays the aging beauty queen and society maven Flora Goforth, whose final days dictating her memoirs in her villa on the southern coast of Italy are disrupted by the mysterious arrival of a beautiful youngish poet. Does he offer one last chance for love and salvation? Or is he the Angel of Death?
BOB: Yeah. I enjoyed this very much. It was a very interesting production. The way it was produced, the setting, the direction kept me on the edge of my seat the whole time.
KAREN: I did too. And I found it funny. Olympia Dukakis manages a great deal of dry humor.
BOB: I can’t imagine that when they brought it back to Broadway – it had run but because of the newspaper strike in New York City it had sort of disappeared – so they brought it back the next year and they put Tallulah Bankhead in that role. Tallulah is a wonderful actress but she is always Tallulah.
KAREN: But this entire cast is absolutely wonderful. Olympia Dukakis captures
BOB: all of the quirks
KAREN: of Mrs. Goforth whom some people claim was based on Peggy Guggenheim. Kevin Anderson plays the youngish poet. Chris Flanders – this mysterious poet, attractive man who arrives on this rather isolated estate
BOB: on the Isle of Capri
KAREN: and there Maggie Lacey who plays the secretary, Blackie
BOB: I was captivated by Judith Roberts who character is called “The Witch of Capri”
KAREN: though she has several other names. Another aging
BOB: society matron
KAREN: who is the friend.
BOB: The entire play moves along at terrifically interesting and exciting pace. And the way they staged it with the bedrooms moving in and out
KAREN: The entire set by Jeff Cowie is terrific. I like Williams a lot but I had never seen this, but I loved it.
BOB: Go see it.
(Ran weeks of May 26 & June 2, 2008 on WNHU-88.7 FM & WNHU.net)