New York | 1h 45m | Already closed

A Lovely Sunday for Creve Coeur

From 19 critic and 113 member reviews
Members say: Great acting, Slow, Dated, Disappointing, Great staging

About the show

In Tennessee Williams's unique tragicomedy, four women in Depression-era St. Louis live and work together in a valiant effort to stave off loneliness and despair. More…

Along the way, they uncover false idols -- and maybe even themselves. The production features Kristine Nielsen ('Present Laughter') and was directed by Austin Pendleton.

1h 45m | Already closed | Theatre at St. Clement's (Midtown W)


"Pendleton understands that great comedy is always grounded in real stakes and truthful performances. Executing knee-bends for dear life, Lichty is every bit the Williams Southern belle...Pendleton wisely presents 'Creve Coeur' in 105 uninterrupted minutes, revealing the play to be one brilliantly constructed and completely continuous scene. The comedy and drama build in equal measure, often feeding off each other. All of that springs from the truth at the heart of Williams's writing." Full Review


“A sterling, masterful presentation...Adroit performances and direction. Pendleton’s nuanced and gradual unfolding of Williams’ dramatic climax at once captivates with its beauty, delicacy, and plaintiveness. Delivered with a less astute balance in shepherding the actors’ portrayals than Pendleton’s, Williams’ complicated play would not deliver the power and heartbreak that this production evokes at the conclusion.” Full Review


"Very fine La Femme Theatre production of the lesser-known Tennessee Williams drama...Excellent work by Nielsen and O'Toole makes Bodey and Helena's conflict a comical highlight...Expanded to and hour and forty-five minutes (Pendleton has removed the intermission) the play does seem a bit slow and overstuffed. Still, this is a fine opportunity to see a well-mounted rarity by one of the great masters performed by an exceptional company." Full Review

City Cabaret

“Williams reveals his trademark understanding of loneliness and the needs of life for friendship, support and perhaps occasional accommodations. With poignancy is humor, the emotions combining with a gentle charm by four actors who understand and communicate William' sensitivities. In a smooth flow, director Austin Pendleton brings out the unique eccentricities of each woman, linking their individual delusions and anxieties with universal humanity.” Full Review


"I jumped at the chance to see this rarity by the great dramatist...Unquestionably, Williams' fortunes, both personal and professional, had peaked by the time this play appeared. But genius will out and in this instance shows him as remarkably perceptive...Williams lovers will delight in the contentiousness of the brittle and baiting conversations/confrontations. That he is able to make us laugh and feel deeply at the same time is a credit to his genius." Full Review

Motherhood Later

“In ‘A Lovely Sunday For Creve Coeur,’ La Femme Theatre Productions’ all-female cast hands in excellent performances. This lesser-known work of Tennessee Williams serves as a welcome reminder of his skill as a playwright. Lichty’s accent takes a bit of time to understand and there is one scene that is ultimately too difficult to decipher. That aside, the performances on the whole are engaging and the play lingers in the mind long after the telling.” Full Review

New York Theater

"Contains a familiar dose of heartbreak, and reflects the playwright’s poetic sensibility and deep compassion. But 'A Lovely Sunday for Creve Coeur,' despite its precious title, is also wickedly witty, Williams creating smart-mouthed characters and letting them loose on one another...Though it might not be a masterpiece, 'Creve Coeur' has a relaxed humor and even, winningly, a kind of optimism that is hard to find in Williams early, more popular work." Full Review

Theatre Reviews Limited

"All the women in 'A Lovely Sunday for Creve Coeur' are cultivating complexes and obsessions and coming to terms with that cultivation is the enduring theme of Tennessee Williams’ play...Pendleton directs with a steady hand and keeps the action moving forward at a brisk pace...'Creve Coeur' connects deeply with all suffering the malaise of loss or lack of identity and the quest for independence that sometimes results in broken hearts." Full Review

New York Stage Review

"'Creve Coeur' did escape the scorn that met some of Williams’ other later works, leaving it ripe for a safe, sensitive revival, which is what director Austin Pendleton and his accomplished cast deliver here...There’s little to cackle at in this production, though the players gently stoke the piquant comedy Williams could always inject into the bleakest of circumstances." Full Review

Front Mezz Junkies

"The cast seem to spend more time navigating the narrow passageways watching out for corners and edges to avoid, instead of finding their way through the complex text...Such a shame, as there are a few strong and provocative ideas and performances shuffling about on that short trolley ride to the park...Rarely achieves the same level of poetic descent that we have learned to expect of Williams. It’s beautifully spoken, but unfocused and flat, at least with this awkwardly staged production." Full Review

Theater Pizzazz

“Even a cast led by…stalwarts…can do little to make this comedy splashed with pathos bring mild laughter to your lips or moisture to your eyes...Too little of the acting reveals the hearts, broken or otherwise, of these potentially interesting characters…[The] repetitive emphasis on the same basic conflicts comes to seem, over…an intermission-less hour and 45 minutes, increasingly artificial…Fails to convince that, other than because of its author's name, it's a treasure waiting to be found.” Full Review

New York Stage Review

"A handsome if uneven revival...The chief pleasures of this production are the always terrific Kristine Nielsen and Annette O’Toole...A very funny play...But there’s an undeniable undercurrent of tragedy...It’s a delicate tonal balance, and this production almost strikes it. The main problem is Lichty. She has the precise look—beautiful, thin, wispy, high-strung—that her character requires, but her speech is strained, almost manic, and, unfortunately, barely audible." Full Review

Show Showdown

“Not one of Tennessee Williams's masterpieces, but it still deserves a better production...Pendleton seems to think that 'Creve Coeur' is a farce. It is not; it's a slightly hopeful tragedy with some humor. Pendleton does manage to get some laughs, but at the cost of the play's soul...Lichty does a decent job as Dotty...Nielsen's two-dimensional Bodey ignores the character's savvy and backbone, much to the detriment of the play. O'Toole plays Helena as though she is a sitcom bad guy.” Full Review

Theater Reviews from my Seat

"Despair, desperation, and loneliness are key themes in this work...A tragicomedy with four meaty roles for actresses to play. The meanness of women is certainly on display here but with added layers of fear, dreams, self-protection and gut instincts...The performances are mixed...'Creve Coeur' is a long one act piece and the tempo dragged a number of times. Austin Pendleton directed these ladies to play the scenes fairly bluntly." Full Review

Plays to See

“More than a mere curiosity for Williams enthusiasts: it is a stylish and enjoyable, though flawed, production, which shows that there is real power in Williams’ largely comic play, even if this staging is ultimately unable to fully capture it...Nielsen is a pleasure to watch...making a full character out of what could have been a caricature...Pendleton’s direction is on point...The main problem is Lichty’s uneven and uncertain performance, a not insignificant portion of which is nearly inaud... Full Review

Times Square Chronicles

"Nielsen, O’Toole, and McKie all play their roles like caricatures of women and it doesn’t always work...Pendleton brings some umps to this play, but it really is a one-act and it seems to drag on just a little bit longer than it should...This is a play every Tennessee Williams fan will and should see...It could be highly interesting to see the evolvement of women in society and how circumstances have changed." Full Review

Exeunt Magazine

"The women counterbalance each other and each adjustment in one causes a responsive adjustment in the others. This structural back-forth-and-sideways is captivating at times, but bloats the play...Here, in an intermission-less evening, the extraneous material is especially apparent...Nielsen and O’Toole spend much of the play sparring while Dottie hides in the bedroom. These two gifted actresses are alert and connected, feeding each other to great effect. " Full Review

The New York Times

“None of the performances from the ensemble here seems to match up with any of the others in terms of style, temperament, scale or audibility...O’Toole looks perfect for the part. Yet her performance is strangely spasmodic...Nielsen isn’t a natural fit for a Williams play. But her extravagantly eccentric performance does manage to hint at the wounded center of a boisterous character...Though indubitably a lesser Williams work, 'Creve Coeur' does sparkle now and then." Full Review

Lighting & Sound America

“Everything about this revival is busy...The action is nonstop...And yet, the play is, from the first line to the last, stuck in idle...Watching each of these actresses go her own stylistic way, one wonders exactly what sort of oversight the director, Austin Pendleton exercised over this production. If there is a workable play here this company is incapable of delivering it...A better, more nuanced approach would have allowed one to enjoy the script's occasional beauties.” Full Review

Clever, Great acting, Great staging, Intelligent, Hilarious

See it if love good drama... that is funny yet relevant and moving... great performances

Don't see it if you are looking for a musical entertaining piece of fluff. This show will make you think, feel, and laugh and cry at life.

Absorbing, Funny, Great acting, Great staging, Must see

See it if You want to see amazing performances from 4 actresses with superb direction. It's a play that is still with me after seeing it yesterday,

Don't see it if You like lighthearted comedies. This tends to be on the dark side.

Ambitious, Great acting, Great staging

See it if you're a Tennessee Williams fan. A rare chance to see one of his significant but lesser works, that reflects the themes he was intrigued by

Don't see it if You have no interest in T. Williams, or don't want to see a great playwright's somewhat lesser attempts.

Funny, Entertaining, Great acting, Great writing, Ambitious

See it if you like Tennessee Williams, Kristine Nielsen or just wrapping your Southern belle drawl around words like "Creve Coeur."

Don't see it if you can miss luminous, Tony-winner Kristine Nielsen in an intimate space bringing her usual comedic flair to a weighty, Williams' role.

Absorbing, Clever, Delightful, Great acting, Great staging

See it if Great set. Good acting. Held my interns

Don't see it if U only like musicals or comedy

Absorbing, Clever, Hilarious, Great writing, Great acting

See it if You find grumpy old ladies amusing. You love Tennessee Williams. Great staging of a great American play.

Don't see it if I don't really know. Somehow the score is not very good. I loved it.

Fine-acting by a small cast, Thoughtful, Somewhat dated, One-act work that could use a fuller view of these women’s individual lives, An exciting opportunity to see a seldom-produced drama by a masterful playwright

See it if you must see every Tennessee Williams work brought to life, including this lesser-produced work; like female-centric dramas & the actresses.

Don't see it if expecting the power of Williams’ more popular works; you can’t stand watching a bunch of women’s worlds revolve around men even when absent.

Also Despite datedness and unevenness, Tennessee Williams’ A Lovely Sunday ... Read more Read less

Entertaining, Great acting, Masterful, Great writing, Intense

See it if to see a great revival of a minor work of Tennessee Williams. Cast were all superb and I am not sure why the reviews are not more positive

Don't see it if you cant sit through 100+ minutes of dialogue with southern accents and no intermission.

Dated, Ambitious, Intelligent, Tennessee williams

See it if Austin Pendleton. All female cast. Tennessee Williams Three scenes all on one set. Scenic Design and Prop person deserve credit

Don't see it if Reminder.The St.. Clements site is steps and more steps and even more steps no matter the destination. Not my favorite Williams play but.. .

Ambitious, Good acting, Dated, Slow, Intelligent

See it if you like Tennessee Williams; want to see some good performances; enjoy plays about marginalized characters.

Don't see it if you dislike Tennessee Williams; you don't like somewhat dated plays; you prefer plays with lots of action. Yes, it is a little slow in parts

Absorbing, Great writing

See it if You enjoy soap operas, especially concerning relationships between women and their hardships

Don't see it if You would not like an all female cast or plays concerning women in despair.

Also Although the story took place in 1937, I thought that much of the play... Read more Read less

Great acting, Great writing, Intelligent

See it if you are a fan of T. Williams plays. you like psychological character studies. Note: The characters are sad and lost with no redemption

Don't see it if you need to see something upbeat. Williams view of people is quite cynical / misanthropist. you need action happening

Great acting, Great writing, Masterful, Great staging

See it if You’re a Williams fan and want a well produced title gem.

Don't see it if You’re not a fan of Saint Clement’s theatre and all of its steps.

Enchanting, Absorbing, Great acting, Slow, Great writing

See it if you'll enjoy characters beautifully sad to watch (typical T.Williams at least to me). A little slow a little too often, but worthwhile.

Don't see it if you want a light happy go lucky night of theater.

Entertaining, Dated, Slow, Great writing

See it if you enjoy witty writing and would like to see an all female cast performing a tragic-comedy.

Don't see it if you dislike shows that are a bit slow and set in the past.

Entertaining / recommended, Small venue / excellent set & costumes, Bit depressing / intense character-study, Very funny yet very harsh dialogue, Great ensemble / good direction

See it if you know & enjoy T Williams' &/or A Pendleton's work. Book's both comedic & serious. Intense committed performances (no one breaks onstage).

Don't see it if you want an upbeat comedy or fluffy musical. It's NOT a happy play. Note: Lots of German is thrown @ you w/o translation. Very off-putting.

Also I prefer long shows. 90min is rarely enough.... Read more Read less

Entertaining, Great acting, Intelligent, Relevant, Heart-tugging

See it if U like Tennessee Williams' sympathetic portrayals of struggling women, '30s setting, dashed dreams, Kristine Nielsen & Annette O'Toole.

Don't see it if you don't like Tennessee's plays, dislike all-female casts, have trouble deciphering thick southern accents, not a fan of Kristine Nielsen.

Great acting, Great staging, Great writing, Resonant, Absorbing

See it if If you love Tennessee Williams, and are interested in one of his later, rarely down pieces that explores so many of his richest themes.

Don't see it if You're looking for a modern take on a classic ala Sam Gold that messes up a classic that doesn't need messing with.

Entertaining, Funny, Quirky

See it if you are obsessed with everything Tennessee Wms & absolutely must punch your dance card & see this lovely production.

Don't see it if Off-Bway theatre is not accessible. 1hr 45min NO intermission. Dated women's stereotypes from the 1930s painfully still true today.

Also This show has been on my list for some time, very happy to finally see... Read more Read less

Serviceable production of a lesser williams.

See it if you want to see a highly serviceable production of a rarer Williams' work. See how he wrestled with familiar themes earlier (and later).

Don't see it if you need a polished production or a polished play. Performances are uneven and the direction did not work hard to deal with the problems.

Worth the s-s offer, Well-staged, Mostly well-acted

See it if you are a Kristine Nielsen fan and/or are interested in seeing a Tennessee Williams play that's new to you

Don't see it if you can't stand being a step (or ten) ahead of plot reveals while watching a straight-ahead timeline play

Also Ben Brantley was overly critical of the lead actress in this productio... Read more Read less

Quirky, Really good acting, Minor tennessee williams but characters are memorable

See it if You can't get enough of quirky characters trying to make their fragile lives work in the face of tremendous odds against happiness...

Don't see it if You don't want to spend 90+ minutes with 4 Southern women who will make you laugh and sympathize with the crosses they bear.

Great acting, Slow, Engaging, Strong direction, Wonderfully designed

See it if you're a Williams fanatic. A terrific cast makes the most of a late cannon work that attempts to recapture his original successful style.

Don't see it if you're expecting the poetic writing of Williams' early masterworks. His brilliant gift of language is broken here like the hearts on Sunday.

Intelligent, Intense, Verytennessee

See it if you like Tennessee Williams' writing. Nielsen & O'Toole terrific. Set is chock full. Shades of Blanche can be felt. Sensitive yet funny.

Don't see it if you are bored by four women chatting about hopes and dreams that will probably never be. Think women would like more than men.

Also Sometimes heartbreaking. Worthwhile for the acting and the writing. No... Read more Read less

Entertaining, Slow, Thought-provoking, Dated

See it if You are a Tennessee Williams completist. You want to see powerhouse female performances in a small intimate theater.

Don't see it if You are looking for a light comedy. You don’t like Tennessee Williams. You don’t like small shows.

Also Certainly not his best play, but very interesting to see Williams work... Read more Read less

Cast & Creatives (9)