By Stefanie Boyd

Arizona Daily Wildcat

The Tucson Art Theatre delivered the most sincere, haunting, and entertaining performance of Tennessee Williams' "The Glass Menagerie" I have ever seen.

"The Glass Menagerie" is set in a small apartment in St. Louis in the 1930s. The Wingfields are a southern family affected by years of disappointment and underachievement precur sored by the father's abandonment 13 years earlier.

Tom (David Greenwood) plays both narrator and younger brother. Tom's family obligations bind him to a mindless warehouse job until he can escape each night to the movies and dream of adventure and freedom.

Laura (AnnaMarie Greenwood) is Tom's introverted sister, so timid she can't complete a business-school typing course. Laura is childlike. She passes the hours playing with the small figurines in her glass menagerie while her mother frets over what will become of her "peculiar" daughter.

Amanda Wingfield (Melissa Lancaster) is the controlling but well-intended mother. The memories of her youth as a popular southern debutante become her motivation for pushing Laura to be "normal."

The play is performed in the Cabaret Theatre which is tiny and cozy. The actors are only a few feet away from the audience. David Greenwood plays Tom in addition being the lighting coordinator and usher. The effect is intimate and very inclusive, not allowing the audience to simply observe in detachment. I felt drawn into the emotional relationships between these family members as if they were my own.

Any play would be wonderful with this cast of actors. There is not a single weakness on the stage. Every performer is focused and convincing. Melissa Lancaster is particularly outstanding in a difficult role. Her everyday chatter eases smoothly into hysteria during her arguements with Tom and then bubbles up charmingly again while she flirts with the gentleman caller.

"The Glass Menagerie" was powerful and magical in every aspect. I hold the cast of actors solely responsible for the two hours that I forgot myself and became a Wingfield.

"The Glass Menagerie" is playing at the Cabaret Theatre, 330 S. Scott Ave., until April 23. For more information call 327-7950. Read Next Article