Ends Jul 02

The Glass Menagerie (Sally Field)

Members say: Great acting, Absorbing, Disappointing, Thought-provoking, Great writing
73
Critics
60
57 reviews
Members
76
367 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.

 
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Reviews (424)

See: Critics' Reviews | Members' Reviews
60
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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

55
NorthJersey.com

"Asking an audience to use its imagination is a good thing, but sometimes there’s a gap too far. Although Mantello gives the evening’s best performance, you never quite accept him as the brother of Laura, who’s in her early 20s...Ultimately, in this production, the woes of the Wingfield family take second place to the experience of watching the bravery and determination of a young actress, and perhaps to ponder the wider difficulty people with disabilities have in being cast." 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

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

58
Disappointing, Overrated, Slow

See it if You're a fan of the play and want to see every production or you're into seeing big name actors on Broadway

Don't see it if You value good acting, directing, and tech and are interested in seeing a semi-decent performance. This was a mess and not worth seeing

83
Great acting, Great writing, Classic, Amusing, Great staging

See it if you are interested in seeing a well-adapted stage version of the play. Wonderful performances from the actors and minimalistic staging.

Don't see it if you are looking for a grand performance. The play pretty much looks to stick to the bare bones.

75
Thought-provoking, Great writing, Lyrical, Unique staging, Major deconstruction

See it if you are open to a deconstruction and reinterpretation of this classic Williams drama. Austere set, raw text, yet fine acting.

Don't see it if you want a more lyrical and poetic rendering of this classic play.

71
Absorbing, Ambitious, Intelligent, Unusual direction

See it if A different version of this play. It is a different take of Laura's disability. Both the narrator and gentleman caller's performances are

Don't see it if If you are a Tennessee William's purist.

90
Great acting, Intelligent, Thought-provoking, Masterful, Bold

See it if You don't want to see just another "Glass Menagerie," but want to see a bold, striking well-acted version that exposes the emotional core.

Don't see it if You don't want to see a bold directorial and acted take on a classic play.

85
Ambitious, Great acting, Intelligent

See it if Sally Field and Joe Mantello gives a great interpretation of classical roles played many times over. Sam Gold's direction is interesting.

Don't see it if you want a set. There is none.

69
Great acting, Confusing, Overrated, Slow, Weird staging

See it if you want to see Joe Mantello in a wonderful role (plus Sally Field!); if you're intrigued by a stripped-down version of this play.

Don't see it if some of the directing choices were odd (the set is so stark it's startling!); this iteration doesn't give you much to hold onto

49
Quirky, Banal, Under-produced

See it if If you are a Sally Field fan

Don't see it if You love the play. The minimalist approach feels irrelevant and forced. It comes across as a bunch of Theater majors trying too hard.

86
Absorbing, Ambitious, Thought-provoking, Profound, Great staging

See it if Casting choices by director Gold may seem jarring at first but it gives previously unexplored motivations for all characters; superb cast

Don't see it if No intermission means rest room strategy is necessary; subtle acting may not reach to rear of theatre

83
Absorbing, Great acting, Intense, Thought-provoking, Entertaining

See it if You'd enjoy wonderfully-acted staging of Willams' masterpiece. The acting is so good that you feel the love, pain and despair of the family

Don't see it if You expect something light and / or lavish, or if you go to theater for pure entertainment. I enjoyed more than I expected.

90
Exquisite, Great acting, Masterful, Great staging, Impeccable

See it if You want to see this play done in a stunning staging. You will enjoy each word of this play in this sparse setting. Cast, director = A+!

Don't see it if You are expecting a set. You are given a bare stage with very few props. You may get the spooks being in the Belasco with only candlelight!

89
Great acting, Intense, Thought-provoking, Masterful, Great writing

See it if you want to see a beloved star (Sally Field) taking on an iconic play with a fabulous cast.

Don't see it if you feel The Glass Menagerie has been revived too many times, or if you dislike stripped down classics.

Also Oddly enough, ushers constantly warn us not to take pictures of the se... Read more Read less

84
Great acting, Great writing, Sally fields! go see her!, Odd directoral choices

See it if you want to see Sally Fields play a wonderfully complex Amanda. She's riveting! I'd see Joe Mantello in anything - and wasn't disappointed.

Don't see it if you are looking for a traditional version of this play. The director reimagines Laura, and unfortunately it didn't work for me.

Also Sam Gold has a propensity to like to put his mark on things, he loves ... Read more Read less

79
Absorbing, Great acting, Intelligent, Thought-provoking

See it if You'd enjoy a modern take on a classic memory play and a production that gives a disabled actress an important role.

Don't see it if You want close adherence to Tennessee Williams stage directions.

90
Delightful, Exquisite, Great acting

See it if you Love Sally Field! This show really took me home touched the heart.

Don't see it if .....

100
Great acting, Masterful, Must see, Great writing, Great staging

See it if The engine that runs the show is Sally Field; she makes every moment memorable. Madison Ferris was born to play this role. I was completely

Don't see it if You are not a fan of Tennessee Williams’s dramatic plays.

Also entrusted by all the amazing performances.

73
Great acting, Great writing, Disappointing

See it if you are a huge fan of Tennessee Williams or of any of the great talented cast.

Don't see it if you prefer traditional takes on classic plays. This production is not that and not for everyone.

92
Great acting, Intelligent, Intense, Masterful, Great staging

See it if if you liked Tiffany's "pretty to look"-yet more superficial-version of the show. This show finally approaches the text as a memory play.

Don't see it if If you want to see big set, a realistic production and a feel good. This is not it.

Also I have heard comments that Gold took away the poetry of the piece away... Read more Read less

67
Quirky, Indulgent, Banal, Disappointing

See it if u love the play and wish to see a v/ modern take on this exquisite memory play. Sally Field is fine as Amanda, Finn Wittrock is a poignant

Don't see it if Gentleman Caller. Joe Mantello is too knowing & slick as Tom. Laura, in a wheelchair, has physical handicaps, but is unsympathetic & cold.

50
Ambitious, Indulgent, Confusing, Disappointing, Excruciating

See it if You want to see a unique version of this classic that shows resentment for the writing.

Don't see it if You love the play and do not want to see it ruined.

80
Great acting, Thought-provoking, Great writing, Dated

See it if You are a Tennessee Williams and Sally Field fan; love the play and must see every version of it.

Don't see it if You do not like a sparse set and strange stage lighting; you loved the 2013 version starring Cherry Jones & Zachary Quinto

Also This is a strange production, but the acting is very well done, and th... Read more Read less

80
Great acting, Great writing, Great staging

See it if To be reminded that this is a great play.

Don't see it if You can't sustain concentration for 2 plus hours. Having no intermission worked well here but some may find it a long time to sit still.

Also I didn't intend to see this because the recent Cherry Jones/Zachary Qu... Read more Read less

79
Absorbing, Great acting, Thought-provoking, Quirky, Confusing

See it if you can get past the deconstruction of the script and like to see challenging interpretation, Sally Field is like a monstrous Albee mother

Don't see it if you are a purist who hates the thought of messing with a well written play

81
Absorbing, Great acting, Masterful, Entertaining

See it if you love Tennessee Williams' plays, Sally Field, intense family drama or bare-bones takes on classic plays.

Don't see it if you're expecting a traditional setting of the play or are intolerant of people with disabilities.

Also The cast performances were amazing!! This was my second time seeing th... Read more Read less

100
Clever, Delightful, Great acting, Great writing, Great staging

See it if YOU MUST SEE THIS. It's not everyone's cup of tea, but it's superbly acted by everyone except for Laura. Loved every last second of this

Don't see it if For any reason. It's a memory play that for the first time seems to ME to be performed in the style that suits the piece best. LOVE IT