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The Glass Menagerie (starring Sally Field)

Members say: Great acting, Absorbing, Disappointing, Thought-provoking, Ambitious
74
Critics
59
59 reviews
Members
76
517 reviews
 

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.

 

Cast & Creatives (15)



Reviews (576)

See: Critics' Reviews | Members' Reviews
59
Avg Score

45
The New York Times

"Mr. Gold and his cast, led by an intrepid Sally Field, have dismantled a venerable classic, but darned if they can figure out how to put it back together again...This is a production in which subtext elbows text out of bounds...Less a thought-through interpretation than a sustained scene-study class...On occasion, Mr. Gold’s interpretation takes on the vicious aspect of a nightmare in which you see your past at its distorted worst. But even that vision is not sustained." Full Review

40
Theatermania

"Gold makes some baffling choices to undermine the power of Williams' story...Such stripped-down productions have the benefit of allowing the playwright's words to soar above stage wizardry, and that occasionally happens here, despite Gold's best efforts to bring it all down. Much of this has to do with the dynamite performances of our two lead actors...The whole thing leaves us feeling flat..It's an awfully contemptuous take on one of the most enduring dramas of the American theater." 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

40
Variety

"A most unlikely candidate for deconstruction. But that doesn’t deter director Sam Gold from laying hands on this gem and subjecting it to a severe reinterpretation...Williams’s play has been stripped to the gut, shorn of its lyrical accoutrements and reduced to its raw text. But a strategy that might illuminate other dramas disregards the fact that these embellishments are intrinsic to the writer’s plays...Understated in the muted performances, the poetry is not quite lost, but diluted." 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

10
New Yorker

"I couldn’t tell if my confused, hurt fury was caused by the pretentious and callous staging I had just witnessed or if my anger was a result of feeling robbed of the beauty of Williams’s script...Gold makes clear his desire to leave his mark on the play—at all costs, including the play itself...The actors tear through the script with little care for what is being said or how to say it...Gold puts a stop to the language by inserting himself and his own intellect where the Wingfields should be." 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

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

45
Theater Life

"The deep affection among the family is here thanks to soulful connections between Joe Mantello’s layered Tom and Sally Field’s somewhat clownish, rage-filled Amanda, the desperate mother. But Gold’s inconsistent, concept-driven direction obscure this bond and Williams’ themes of comforting lies versus harsh reality...It’s understandable that Gold would want to try a startlingly different tack...So a fresh approach is admirable, but why blast away all the poetry?" Full Review

30
DC Theatre Scene

"Doesn’t include a glass menagerie! And that’s among the least intrusive of Gold’s directorial choices, which theatergoers must struggle to reconcile with the beloved text...All four members of the cast can be said to stand out, which is to say, it is difficult to assess their performances in isolation from the effect of the production as a whole...That is obviously what Sam Gold is trying to do, trying to make us see 'The Glass Menagerie' in a new light — but perhaps trying too hard." Full Review

35
Lighting & Sound America

"What confounds about this production is the many seemingly arbitrary directorial decisions that are at odds with Williams' text...At times, Gold seems determined to thwart Field's best efforts...Mantello gives by far the most successful performance...yet even he gets upstaged when forced to stand in front of the neon sign that stands in for the ballroom next door...In trying to strip away decades' worth of assumptions about this classic work, Gold has stripped out its essential qualities." 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

65
The Hollywood Reporter

" In a bold experiment that's often riveting but seldom wholly satisfying, director Gold rips away illusion like a bandage off a wound...Despite some fine work from the actors, you end up being moved more by the sheer resilience of the writing than by the intrusive presentation...The result is one of the most hauntingly lyrical dramas in the American canon transformed into a blunt dysfunctional family play in which indelible melancholy gets trampled by anger and bitterness." Full Review

35
AM New York

"The winning streak of Sam Gold comes to a screeching halt with a misconceived Broadway revival of Tennessee Williams’ 1944 breakout drama...Gold, who apparently wanted to remove all artifice or period flavor, uses a bare, exposed-looking theater space, with just a metal table and a shelf of props...This all results in a painfully self-aware production that is devoid of Williams’ trademark lyricism....How about a simple production devoid of any self-conscious directorial concepts?" Full Review

15
Talkin' Broadway

"A colossal disappointment. Here, the decoration, the artifice, and the gimmickry aren't just most of the thing, they're the whole thing...Choices that don't serve the play extend to the acting as well. Only Mantello comes close to bridging the gap between Williams and Gold...'The Glass Menagerie' can and should be shattering, to the Wingfields and, even more so, us. Alas, in building up rather than breaking down, Gold has ensured that nothing about this one is." Full Review

20
Times Square Chronicles

"Everything about this production makes no sense...Sam Gold has deconstructed 'The Glass Menagerie' and completely miscast it. He has joined the Ivo van Hove team where brilliant American writers' works are fair game to dismantle to make the directors shine, not the playwrights or their intent. In this case nothing shimmers...This version is neither poetic or expressive, but boring, miscast and missing to what Tennessee Williams intended. I will keep my memory of other productions." 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

15
New York Daily News

"Revisionist reboots of modern classics can open your eyes—or make them glaze over. Broadway's stark, stripped-back new take on 'The Glass Menagerie' starring Sally Field lands, alas, in the latter category. Tennessee Williams’ 1945 masterwork has never emerged smaller, flatter or less poignant...On paper, it’s intriguing. In practice, it makes for a disjointed 'Glass' that is empty of emotion and impact. Intimacy gets lost when actors seem to be in different plays." 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

30
CurtainUp

"Intriguingly different and never boring. The problem is that this Van-Hovization-à-la-Gold is so extreme that the directorial vision has upstaged the author's poetic magic. While even Gold's most mouth-agape choices couldn't assail this virtually indestructible play, what ultimately held my attention was seeing just what bizarre business he would come up with next, and how the actors dealt with it...This cast fails to merge into a satisfactorily coherent and cohesive production." Full Review

55
Theater In The Now

"This reinvention brings some incredible new insights into the text yet also veers, at times, unrecognizably too far...Gold interprets the text a manner that may be confusing but he goes all in with it...The Jim and Laura scene was extraordinary. But it lived in another world from the rest of the play...Despite the flaws of the production, Field gave a dynamic performance...It was a lens that was beautifully unique...Gold made a noble risk that unfortunately didn’t pay off this time." Full Review

74
Front Mezz Junkies

"The effervescent Sally Field as the desperate mother is astounding in her simplicity, frustration, and frailty...Unlike any other production I have seen before, the true power of this unique production is placed firmly on the shoulders of what are usually considered the secondary characters: The sister/daughter Laura and the gentleman caller...It’s a gorgeously powerful story, and here, Gold has managed to give us more view of it from a unique vantage." Full Review

55
Front Row Center

"Gold is interested in only one thing, really. People...I think in his effort to understand the humans in front of him, Gold has taken them out of context and lost them, and the audience in the process...Mantello and Wittrock both give excellent performances...I think in fact that Mantello’s Tom is the best I’ve ever seen...Field does a masterful job of trying to reconcile the irreconcilable, but in the end, we’re confused by the character and the play through no fault of hers." 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

40
TheaterScene.net

"Gold seems to have decided to try ideas out that had not been attempted before with this script. However, if you love the play, you will want to give this production a miss - unless you wish to see it in a form you never imagined possible. Stripped of its poetry, 'The Glass Menagerie' loses most of the magic that Williams' play embodies and simply becomes an acting and director's workout like in a scene study class. It seems to have been attempted simply for the sake of trying something new." Full Review

See: Critics' Reviews | Members' Reviews
76
Avg Score

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.

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, 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.

98
Absorbing, Great acting, Resonant, Great staging

See it if Superb acting by Sally Field as the mother who wants her disabled daughter to find a husband. Loved her "costume change" & the rain effects.

Don't see it if You prefer a modern drama instead. This is a classic but feels so fresh in this version.

79
Ambitious, Great acting, Thought-provoking, Relevant

See it if You enjoy or have not yet seen this play, and are in seeing it interpreted in way that gives it new meaning

Don't see it if You want lavish sets or aren't interested in commentary on life in hard economic times, physical challenges and family relations

70
Funny, Absorbing, Resonant

See it if You love the play and any work of Tennessee Williams. Enjoy some dramatic flair and creative staging (rain on stage)

Don't see it if You despise family dramas. A play about unfulfilled dreams or a main character that is stuck in one way or another.

70
Ambitious, Great writing, Confusing, Disappointing, Dated

See it if You love this play and are interested in seeing an ambitious (but ultimately unsuccessful) attempt to reimagine it.

Don't see it if You want to see a traditional interpretation of a classic play.

Also "The Glass Menagerie" is my favorite play, but so much of what I love ... Read more Read less