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The Glass Menagerie (starring Sally Field)

Members say: Great acting, Absorbing, Disappointing, Thought-provoking, Ambitious

About the show

Two-time Academy Award winner Sally Field and two-time Tony Award winner Joe Mantello star in a new Broadway revival of Tennessee Williams' classic memory play about a faded Southern belle and her two children.

... Read more

Set in the 1930s, the drama tells the story of Tom, the idle dreamer, Amanda, the overbearing mother, and Laura, the innocent and frail sister. When a gentleman caller comes to see Laura one night, the evening leaves scars that will be forever imprinted on their psyches. Directed by Tony Award winner Sam Gold.


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See: Critics' Reviews | Members' Reviews

95
Theater Pizzazz

“Minimally staged with bold performances to great effect...A thoughtful and creative staging of an expertly written work that transcends time and place…This production will no doubt prove a benchmark for new audiences, eliciting impossible comparisons down the road, particularly for both Sally Field and Finn Wittrock’s stellar performances...The hollowness we feel at curtain is evidence of a production that conveys the story perfectly.” Full Review

90
The Huffington Post

"The casting of Mantello is a masterstroke and this production is the best I’ve ever seen...This stripped-down presentation has an emotional truthfulness and clarity that turns the play from a showcase for one actress into a work of drama unburdened by Southern floridness. Like glass held up to the light, it’s shot through with intelligence and nuance and is all the more powerful for it. I’ll be comparing all future productions I see to the memory of this one." Full Review

90
Broadway Blog

"A muscular, often anachronistic work...A production that bristles with familial uncomfortability. That pushes your boundaries beyond the suspension of disbelief. And that, ultimately, breaks your heart as the ties that bind unravel before your eyes...Stripped down to its bare walls, scenic designer Andrew Lieberman and lighting designer Adam Silverman create a barren theatrical landscape at the Belasco. But there is plenty to feast on in this production of 'The Glass Menagerie.'" Full Review

90
Deadline

"This is not your parents’ 'Glass Menagerie'...For some theatergoers, this latest revival will be more of a nightmare than a dream of memory. Not for me...So we have a 'Glass Menagerie' that doubtless looks like nothing in Tennessee Williams’ imagination, and yet which in its way fullfills the playwright’s deepest desire, which was to invert the comforting conventions of 'realistic' theater and shake us to the core. That, Sam Gold has done, and then some. This is why we have revivals." Full Review

90
Entertainment Weekly

"Gold applies an innovative yet back-to-basics take on an old standard, and the result is a stunning, emotionally rending production. It doesn’t hurt that he has stacked the deck with acting talent...The minute Tom delivers his opening narration with the house lights up, it’s obvious that this is a much-needed fresh perspective on the show...Though Gold's vision might not be for everyone, there’s no arguing that it’s a bold, creative one. The rare revival that breathes new life into a classic." Full Review

90
Exeunt Magazine

"An exciting reinterpretation that obliterates the traditional trappings of the play, reveals the women in it with fresh insight, and may outrage purists. Delicious...In a culture where we avoid looking at disability, Gold keeps Laura’s body in our gaze...Sally Field’s performance softens our image of Amanda...The play benefits from an overall measured escalation. It’s not high-drama from scene one." Full Review

90
Daily Beast

"Every immaculately crafted moment of Gold’s staging rings as clear as it does true...Ferris’s brilliant performance anchors the whole show. It shouldn’t be so radical to see a disabled actor so central to a Broadway show, but it is, and Gold makes Ferris’s disability a focus in the most skillful, least patronizing way...In this raw, crisp, and haunting piece of theater, just as Williams intended, there remains for Tom and the other Wingfields just shards." Full Review

90
On Stage Blog

"I was about to be totally transported and enthralled...I’d never seen a production before where the physical components of Laura ‘s handicap were explored with such nuance...The synergy between the members of this cast was particularly electric...Ferris’ casting proves that physical difference or disability not only should be no bar to the display of talent, but can even bring new life to classic roles...This production will linger in my imagination for a long time." Full Review

90
Newsday

"Like none we have seen before. The style is not poetic, the edges are not soft nor dreamlike, and the heart-shredding family dynamics are not literally placed in the St. Louis tenement that Williams set in the ’30s. And yet, the unspooling is as true to what Williams called a 'memory play' as any I have known. Consider this the indie version, if you need a label — timelessly contemporary and shot full of raw insight into past and future productions." Full Review

85
BroadwayWorld

"Audiences walking in to see director Sam Gold's exquisite new production may think they've stumbled onto a run-through in the middle of the rehearsal process...While Gold does work a bit of stagecraft into the production before the final blackout, the evening's brightest spotlight is on the words of Tennessee Williams, as played by an excellent ensemble. This grounded version of 'The Glass Menagerie' is fully absorbing and thrilling in its simplicity." Full Review

85
The Wrap

"That first long ascent to the stage pretty much establishes Field’s tortured Amanda Wingfield and, in essence, Gold’s take on 'The Glass Menagerie.' It’s a daring, masterful stroke, and one that redefines the Williams classic, and will influence every 'Menagerie' to come in the next few years...Late in the play, Field lays into Mantello...The moment is so painful that he distances the audience from the actors, turning us into voyeurs who are witnessing something we should not." Full Review

85
Time Out New York

"Sam Gold’s starkly compelling, bravely executed revival...It’s rare for a Broadway audience to face an iconic stage classic so radically and brutally 'interrogated.' For that reason alone, it is imperative that you see it...For all this production’s cerebral choices and cold, distancing design, the emotional impact is there: love, disgust, betrayal, shame and the longing for understanding. Yes, 'Menagerie' is memory, and I’ll not soon forget this shockingly fresh frame and angle." Full Review

85
New York Magazine / Vulture

"A rigorously de-romanticized, contemporary rethinking by director Sam Gold...It is nakedly, bracingly theatrical...By paring everything extraneous from the mise en scène, Gold and his designers are preparing the audience to embrace the exploratory nature of the production...Purists may yelp. But...it’s a 'Glass Menagerie' that restores what must have been the shock of the original while also reframing our ideas about Williams as an imperfect person and a pitiless autobiographer." Full Review

85
Reclining Standards

"Altogether extraordinary, wayward, deconstructed, likely-to-be-polarizing production of 'Glass Menagerie.' Weeks later, I’m still wrapping my mind around it...Much of what happens in this production should, I think, come as a surprise. But I’ll say this—Ferris’ entrance on the stage is one of the most affecting moments I’ve ever seen in a theater...I disagree with most of Sam Gold’s big conceptual ideas—yet I’ve never seen a 'Glass Menagerie' that feels so devastatingly right." Full Review

85
ZEALnyc

"Sally Field comes to Broadway in a tour-de-force role, played with a gentle and devastating accuracy. Field appears in what is a most interesting and satisfying production...This latest, very smart rethinking moves 'Menagerie' slightly out of the South and much deeper into the world of family. All family. The result is tender and substantial...If you love great acting, then take the opportunity to see this particular great acting in this particular production." Full Review

85
Showbiz 411

“A unique, memorable production…What’s so interesting is that not a word of Tennessee Williams’ play has been changed and yet, rethinking Laura this way is a smooth move…Ferris must hold her own with three really great actors...Sally Field is sublime as Amanda Wingfield…Wittrock just lights up the stage…This production is way stripped down…What a thrill to see an old play reinvigorated. And Sally Field–my oh my–we really really like her.” Full Review

80
Financial Times (UK)

“That sense of quiet, brittle despair is heightened here by Sam Gold’s stripped-back, decontextualised staging…Such a defamiliarising approach to classical theatre is perhaps becoming a little too familiar. And yet its virtues are manifest during the play’s candlelit final scenes, which hum with ghostly intensity…The fact that Ferris herself suffers from muscular dystrophy adds an extra emotional dimension, particularly during the opening moments.” Full Review

80
The Guardian (UK)

"This 'Glass Menagerie' is a cerebral, often surprising deconstruction and reinvestigation of an American classic...At times willfully at odds with the play as written, particularly its stage directions...The theatricality is self-conscious, at times self-congratulatory. It estranges spectators from the characters and the situations – in ways more and less productive – yet still allows much of the language to be heard clearly and anew." Full Review

80
WNBC

"Field is not as misty as other Amandas we’ve met. Indeed, she is sharp and declarative in recounting for her kids the gentleman callers who paid her attention in years past. It makes her later delusions all the more resonant...Gold puts his stamp on 'Menagerie' with both hyper-realistic elements and a minimalist set so barren it can only leave us to focus on the actors—the juxtaposition of styles makes this 'Menagerie' as interesting as any I’ve seen." Full Review

75
Theatre Reviews Limited

"Director Sam Gold has given us a controversial and fascinating visit with the Wingfield clan...The minimalist staging works here, as this is a family that does not have much...Mantello’s work here is witty and heartfelt, though it ignores the gay identity of the playwright he is to become...Sally Field has given us a sympathetic and contemporary-feeling Amanda...This is not a 'Glass Menagerie' for everyone. But with an open mind, you will most likely find it moving." Full Review

75
DC Metro Theater Arts

"Ms. Field and Joe Mantello are the evening’s prime combatants and their battles are wild. Each of these fine actors manages to show us the rage that runs beneath their surfaces. Both of them bring highly original qualities to these two iconic roles...I don’t agree with all of Mr. Gold’s directorial choices, but I applaud the consistency of his vision, his respect for the material, and the incredible performances he’s helped extract from his quite remarkable cast." Full Review

75
On Stage Blog

“In Williams’ play, Laura has a limp. Sam Gold decided to visually radicalize the young heroine’s physical condition by casting an actress with muscular dystrophy in a wheelchair, Madison Ferris…This is Ferris’ Broadway debut and she seems right at place next to brilliant Sally Field. Gold masterfully uses the timing and choreography dictated by Ms. Ferris’ physicality...The dance scene between Laura and the 'gentlemen caller' portrays a breathtaking intimacy." Full Review

75
Chicago Tribune

"Starkly unforgiving, mostly unafraid and surely unforgettable revival...Stars an extraordinary young newcomer, Madison Ferris...That first entry is an act that clearly taxes and costs Field and Ferris, immediately bonding them in a different way than you've seen with this play...There will be some who argue that Gold's production fundamentally alters Williams' play...I'd say that Gold should have gone further." Full Review

75
Bob's Theater Blog

"Director Sam Gold seems to be operating in Ivo van Hove mode, trying too hard to put his own revisionist stamp on a classic. He has chosen to emphasize the comic over the poetic; I have never heard that much laughter at any previous production...Mantello's performance is very strong and dominates the evening...Gold’s take on the play is interesting, but distorts the piece too much for my taste." Full Review

75
CitiTour

"The inherent poetry of Williams’ language has rarely sounded more prosaic...And yet. Heartbreak still abounds as we watch the show’s complex dynamic play out...Gold’s decision to cast Mantello makes this production something of a 'distant memory' play...It’s a fascinating, thought-provoking casting decision...There’s little question this production’s raison d’etre is Field...This 'Menagerie' is unquestionably a horse of a different color." Full Review

See: Critics' Reviews | Members' Reviews

75
Intelligent, Thought-provoking, Relevant, Resonant, Great staging

See it if You love Sally Field and are open to new interpretations of Tennesee William's famous play

Don't see it if you are a traditionalist

62
Indulgent, Disappointing, Insipid, Overrated

See it if you like Sally Field. Otherwise, it's the least favorite production of GM that I've ever seen.

Don't see it if you have good memories of the Cherry Jones or any earlier production. This one misses the mark in so many ways.

75
Absorbing, Great acting, Intense, Slow, Entertaining

See it if you love Sally Field and want to see some exquisite acting from her.

Don't see it if you have a high expectation based on the book.

78
Ambitious, Clever, Great acting

See it if you are a fan of the play or any of the incredible actors in this production.

Don't see it if you do not want to see a very different take on this classic and historic play.

85
Absorbing, Edgy, Great acting, Intense, Refreshing

See it if you want to be absorbed in the text of Tennessee Williams.

Don't see it if you don't enjoy a fresh take on a classic piece

90
Epic, Great acting, Masterful, Refreshing, Great staging

See it if a beautifully stripped interpretation of the great classic that reveals a far more nuanced look at Amanda Wingfield. Great perfs esp Fields.

Don't see it if if you disliked stripped down productions.

Also Found this far more profound and revealing than the previous Broadway ... Read more Read less

63
Ambitious, Great acting, Confusing, Slow

See it if you haven't seen a production of this play. Acting is great all around.

Don't see it if you don't like slightly experimental stagings. Extremely stripped down set.

Also It starts off a bit slow, so getting into the story from the beginning... Read more Read less

65
Ambitious, Edgy, Great acting, Confusing, Slow

See it if you love Sally Field

Don't see it if you're expecting a traditional version of this show. I hadn't seen it performed live & got lost. Hard to tell time & place on the bare stage

78
Absorbing, Masterful, Riveting, Great writing, Great staging

See it if Sally Field is one of my favorites actresses.

Don't see it if You don't like to see dramas about disabled people.

65
Relevant, Great writing, Confusing

See it if you want to experience a legend and a newcomer each making history

Don't see it if you will find a weird age difference in casting awkward or you need expansive sets.

47
Disappointing, Overrated, Slow, Not necessary

See it if you HAVE to see Sally Fields and don't mind amazing people ruining great work

Don't see it if you have a higher standard in theater and don't want to see someone ruin an incredible play.

Also I was comparing this to the version of Glass Menagerie that was done a... Read more Read less

75
Interesting remake

See it if - well, you can no longer see it, but the show wasn't as awful as reviews reported. Field & Mantello were wonderful.

Don't see it if you have a problem with a minimalist approach to costuming, set-design, etc. it was a bare bones kind of show.

75
Absorbing, Great acting, Intense, Thought-provoking

See it if you are a fan of Tennessee Williams and curious to see different interpretation of the classic.

Don't see it if you don't like 2hr plays without intermission.

Also I was able to catch the final show and glad I did. I didn't like the s... Read more Read less

80
Great acting, Intense, Thought-provoking, Classic, Stark

See it if have never seen the play (like me) and/or love sally field and you don't mind minimally staged shows

Don't see it if want more decorative sets

Also not clear why they picked an older actor play someone in his 20s. my f... Read more Read less

84
Great acting, Thought-provoking

See it if you love this play and are open to seeing it slightly reinterpreted.

Don't see it if a blank stage is going to bother you.

Also I'm a HUGE fan of this text. I think it's one of the best plays ever w... Read more Read less

74
Ambitious, Great acting, Thought-provoking, Quirky, Great writing

See it if You've heard the mixed reviews and are still curious. I was surprised by how absorbed I was, and Mantello and Field are wonderful.

Don't see it if You don't want to pay Broadway prices for what feels like an off-Broadway experiment. I suspect this would've gone over better downtown.

76
Clever, Delightful, Enchanting, Quirky, Unique

See it if You adore Sally Field, won't want to miss seeing her perform a classic, & are available today since there are only a few more performances

Don't see it if you are hoping to see a more traditional take on this classic drama, & seeing a stark set, rather than a detailed one, isn't your taste.

85
Absorbing, Great acting, Great writing, Well cast, Well staged

See it if You want to see an intelligent version of a great play. Minimal staging works. All 4 actors great. Emotional and engaging.

Don't see it if You have preconceived notions from poor reviews and attendance. You don't like bare bone sets.

85
Absorbing, Dizzying, Great acting, Intense, Great staging

See it if you love Sally Field, Tennessee Williams, classic plays with minimalistic yet bold interpretations

Don't see it if Seeing an actor trying to function with a severe physical disability makes you uncomfortable, dated language bothers you

82
Enchanting, Refreshing

See it if You enjoy experimental, streamlined takes on classics, highlighting the comedy in drama.

Don't see it if You want an old-school Broadway show. You can't handle a two hour show without an intermission.

90
Absorbing, Great acting, Intelligent, Riveting, Slow

See it if you want to see a masterful performance

Don't see it if you want something lighter and happier

51
Ambitious, Indulgent, Disappointing

See it if You never saw this play before. It is worth seeing ( at least once ) even this is not the best production. And Sally Field is quite good.

Don't see it if You don't like stripped down versions of classic theater. If you saw this play with Cherry Jones in 2013 this production will disappoint you

80
Absorbing, Great acting, Intelligent, Thought-provoking

See it if you want to see terrific and committed performances by Sally Field and Madison Ferris. Interesting creative direction by Sam Gold.

Don't see it if you don't like stripped down versions of classics. Mantello gives a strong performance & does the best he can with the role but he's miscast

77
Clever, Great acting, Intelligent, Thought-provoking, Great staging

See it if You want to see this classic piece stripped down to the bare minimum

Don't see it if You're looking for spectacle

75
Thought-provoking, Long, Interesting take

See it if I had never seen a production of this so I was quite touched by the heavy thoughts that I had leaving the show. Interesting.

Don't see it if this is a very basic minimal production & sally field does most of the work. Oddly comedic at times.


Cast & Creatives (15)