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The Glass Menagerie: The Deluxe Centennial Editionby Tennessee Williams
Synopses & Reviews
The Glass Menagerie marked a crucial turning point in American theater, and forever changed the life of its then unknown author. Williams's elegiac master- piece brought a radical new lyricism to Broadway — the tragedy, fragility, and tenderness of this "memory play" have made it one of America's most powerful, timeless, and compelling plays. The introduction by Tony Kushner sparkles with the kind of rich, unique insight that only a fellow playwright could convey.
The Deluxe Centennial Edition includes:
• Tony Kushner's astonishing introduction.
• The pioneering essay, "The Homosexual in Society," by Tennessee's friend Robert Duncan, and poems by Hart Crane, E. E. Cummings, Walt Whitman, and Tennessee Williams, which Kushner discusses as sources of inspiration.
• "The Pretty Trap," a cheerful one-act run-up to The Glass Menagerie.
• "The Portrait of a Girl in Glass," Tennessee's short-story variation of the play
• Photographs of great actresses who have played Amanda, and stills from various stage and film incarnations of The Glass Menagerie.
• Williams's classic essay about fame, "The Catastrophe of Success."
• The playwright's original "Production Notes."
• The 1944 opening-night rave reviews from Chicago.
• An essay by the distinguished Williams scholar Allean Hale, "Inside The Menagerie," provides autobiographical particulars about Williams's family life in St. Louis.
• A gorgeous new jacket design by Rodrigo Corral.
A new hardcover edition of this beloved classic — with a new Tony Kushner introduction — to honor the centennial year, 2011, of America's greatest playwright.
A beautiful clothbound edition of a beloved classic to celebrate the 100th birthday of America's greatest playwright, with a sweeping new introduction by Pulitzer Prize-winner Tony Kushner.
When it opened in Chicago in 1944, The Glass Menageriemarked a turningpoint in American theater and in the life of its then unknown author. TennesseeWilliams's elegiac masterpiece brought a radical new lyricism to Broadway—andtoday the tragedy, fragility, and tenderness of this “memory play” endure.
In a cramped St. Louis apartment the aging Southern belle Amanda Wingfield, long preoccupied by memories of gentlemen callers and a world that nolonger exists, is energized by the dilemma of how to save what remains of herfamily. Her restless son Tom—factory worker, aspiring poet, and the narrator ofthe play—is swept up in Amanda’s comic and heartbreaking schemes to findLaura, his agonizingly shy and handicapped sister, a husband.
This new edition of The Glass Menageriecomes with an exciting introduction by the playwright Tony Kushner. Williams’s classic essay on the effect ofswift and unexpected fame, “The Catastrophe of Success,” his original production notes, and a new essay on the autobiographical background of the play bythe distinguished Williams scholar Allean Hale are also included.
Menagerie was Williams's first popular success and launched the brilliant, if somewhat controversial, career of our pre-eminent lyric playwright. Since its premiere in Chicago in 1944, with the legendary Laurette Taylor in the role of Amanda, the play has been the bravura piece for great actresses from Jessica Tandy to Joanne Woodward, and is studied and performed in classrooms and theatres around the world. The Glass Menagerie (in the reading text the author preferred) is now available only in its New Directions Paperbook edition. A new introduction by prominent Williams scholar Robert Bray, editor of The Tennessee Williams Annual Review, reappraises the play more than half a century after it won the New York Drama Critics Circle Award: More than fifty years after telling his story of a family whose lives form a triangle of quiet desperation, Williams's mellifluous voice still resonates deeply and universally. This edition of The Glass Menagerie also includes Williams's essay on the impact of sudden fame on a struggling writer, The Catastrophe of Success, as well as a short section of Williams's own Production Notes. The cover features the classic line drawing by Alvin Lustig, originally done for the 1949 New Directions edition.
About the Author
Tennessee Williams (1911-1983) is the acclaimed author of many books of letters, short stories, poems, essays, and a large collection of plays, including The Glass Menagerie, A Streetcar Named Desire, Camino Real, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, Orpheus Descending, The Night of the Iguana, and The Rose Tattoo.Tony Kushner is the author of over two dozen plays, including Angels in America, for which he received the Tony Award and the Pulitzer Prize for the best play of 1993.
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