Cat on a Hot Tin Roof – Review by Bonnie Goldberg

Music Theatre of Connecticut is honoring the literary genius of playwright Tennessee Williams with an intensely sizzling rendition of the Southern dramatic classic “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof” until Sunday, November 18. The production is sultry, sexy, sensual, stormy and steamy.

It is Big Daddy’s sixty fifth birthday and the family has all gathered to celebrate. They all know that he is dying of cancer and are, for the most part, anxious for part of his 28,000 acre cotton estate and all the wealth that comes with it. Frank Mastrone is expansive and pompous as the master of his kingdom, not knowing the truth of his medical exams.

The Pollitt household is filled with lies and deceit as each member distorts the truth to suit his own purposes. Cynthia Hannah’s Big Mama exudes charm and good will even though she knows in her heart that her husband does not love her at all, while she worships him. Son Gooper (Robert Mobley) and his wife Mae (Elizabeth Donnelly) are practically salivating over the prospects of inheriting the plantation, not missing a single opportunity to denigrate brother Brick and his wife Maggie.

After the death of his great friend and football buddy, Brick has taken to a love affair with liquor, further neglecting his wife best known as Maggie the cat. Michael Raver’s Brick is indifferent to Maggie, to inheriting the estate, to life. He is slowly drinking himself to the grave. Andrea Lynn Green’s Maggie uses all her feminine wiles to entice Brick into bed but she is doomed to fail. The presence of Doc Baugh (Jeff Gurner) and the Preacher (Jim Schilling) only serve to escalate the troubled talk and anxious action. Kevin Connors directs this intense family confrontation with a firm hand, on a Mississippi plantation set designed by Kelly Burr Nelsen.

For tickets ($30-55), call Music Theatre of CT, 509 Westport Avenue, Norwalk (behind Nine West Shoes) at 203-454-3883 or online at Performances are Friday at 8 p.m., Saturday at 4 p.m. and 8 p.m. and Sunday at 2 p.m.

An Evening with Broadway star Adam Pascal, with Larry Edoff on piano, will take place on Saturday, December 1 at 8 p.m. ($75. $65)

Will Maggie the cat be able to stay on that hot tin roof long enough to save her soul and win back her husband Brick? Come judge for yourself.