Closed 3h 15m
A Streetcar Named Desire
Brooklyn
86

A Streetcar Named Desire NYC Reviews and Tickets

86%
(174 Reviews)
Positive
91%
Mixed
8%
Negative
1%
Members say
Great acting, Absorbing, Great staging, Intense, Ambitious

About the Show

St. Ann’s Warehouse presents Young Vic & Joshua Andrews co-production of the Tennessee Williams classic, starring Gillian Anderson and Ben Foster.

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Member Reviews (174)

70
Absorbing, Ambitious, Misconceived, Long, Great script

See it if you love T.Williams' well-drawn characters, humor, strong plotting, poetic language. ASND is masterful. Anderson stands out, but is shrill.

Don't see it if weird updates bother you. Current clothes, setting (Ikea furniture). LOUD music. Annoying revolving set. Meh Stanley K. Domestic violence.

95
Masterful, Must see, Unbelievable acting, Sensational staging, Enthralling

See it if superb production. Gillian is an actress for the ages. Must see! Jaw dropping. 3:30 hr? Really? Felt like half that. A privilege to see.

Don't see it if you refuse to leave Manhattan. Ben was the weakest link. Not bad. Not to be paired with Gillian though.

Critic Reviews (31)

May 1st, 2016

"This brave new 'Streetcar' takes a lot of risks, yet most of them pay off...Such an interpretation largely strips 'Streetcar' of its poetry. And there were certainly moments when I missed that poetry. But I was also willing to trade the delicate lyricism for genuinely original insights...This unusually dynamic 'Streetcar' plays more on our nervous system than with our hearts. But when Blanche finally goes down for the count, it’s impossible not to feel a choking rush of compassion."
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May 1st, 2016

"There’s a fiery revival of Tennessee Williams’s great drama buried under the truckload of 1990s regietheater clichés that Benedict Andrews dumps all over...Andrews once more apes experimental staging tactics you find in productions from Thomas Ostermeier or Ivo van Hove—minus the intellectual or emotional engagement...Anderson’s Blanche and Ben Foster’s Stanley strike sparks, but they’re quenched under cold design and drafty, portentous pauses."
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May 1st, 2016

"Everything in Andrews’s fascinating yet too-often-unaffecting interpretation aims big but in fact points toward smaller ways of understanding the play...The play is so phenomenally well written that there is much to gain from even an everted, objet d’art presentation like this one...Still, the production is too indulgent in sweeping away the implications of its choices, beginning with its stars."
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May 1st, 2016

"Whatever the virtues and follies of director Benedict Andrews' self-consciously radical in-the-round regietheater staging, it gives us an incandescent Blanche...And in a production in which the actors' work is more consistently persuasive than the conceptual choices, it also gives us Ben Foster's distinctive Stanley Kowalski, a physically and psychologically considered characterization that sidesteps the long shadow of Marlon Brando."
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May 1st, 2016

"Foster, who seems to have mixed Cross Fit with Häagen-Dazs in his prep for Stanley, unselfishly resists the charismatic impulses of the part, playing him more as a banal slob. And that allows the transcendence and meaning of Anderson’s performance as Blanche to dominate...Anderson’s Blanche DuBois is such a real creation...And the sonic thunder of applause that comes from the audience should leave her no doubt, now or ever again, that she can always rely on the kindness of strangers.”
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May 3rd, 2016

"If only this London import were better...Anderson and co-star Ben Foster have little to no erotic rapport. There’s a reason this play isn’t titled 'A Streetcar Named Class War'...As for Benedict Andrews’ production as a whole, it’s often maddening, and not in a good way...Pop music, a high-tech white set, Blanche’s Vuitton bag: The show displays all the signs of contemporary theatrical coolness. Yet there’s little gut underneath that hip surface."
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May 1st, 2016

"Anderson's star turn in 'A Streetcar Named Desire' is a mixed bag. So is the revival of the 70-year-old drama...Her overripe posturing and fresh-from-the plantation drawl feel out of place in a production so contemporary that you could call it 'A Streetcar Named Ikea'...The impulse to ask audiences to pay attention and shift perspective on a well-known work is a good one by Benedict Andrews, even if it isn’t terribly enlightening."
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May 1st, 2016

"It’s hard to endure the nonstop motion for 3½ hours. After a while, it comes off as an unnecessary gimmick...That aside, this is a great production. The play works unexpectedly well set in the present day and without the traditional Southern Gothic look...Anderson gives a wholly complete performance as Blanche that depicts the tragic character in all of her mental and emotional extremes."
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May 1st, 2016

"This 'Streetcar' is fleshy, bloody, and completely alive...Anderson grippingly portrays a woman accustomed to surviving on her charms, now entering an economy in which such skills are not valued...As American society continues to grind forward, those left in the lurch by this rapid transition might be tempted to identify with a solid union man like Stanley; but upon closer inspection (which this production thrillingly offers), they're likely to find more empathy with Blanche."
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May 2nd, 2016

“If the set design is more distracting than it might be, neither does it add anything...Anderson has her successes but this isn't a Blanche DuBois to add to one's memory book...Foster is not an ideal Stanley; he's a bantam presence...For all its melodrama, 'Streetcar' needs very careful handling, something it doesn't get here. Andrews' starkly theatrical approach manhandles Williams' text.”
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May 7th, 2016

"Sometimes a production comes along that shakes up a classic, and you feel that you’re seeing it for the very first time. Such is the case of Benedict Andrew’s stunning 'Streetcar'...The strength of Andrews’s production lies in its rawness and primal energy. By stripping away the colorful atmosphere of New Orleans and paring the play down to the bone, Andrews focuses fiercely on the characters and their intense relationships."
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May 23rd, 2016

"Something about this current production from the get-go, directed with perfection by Benedict Andrews, just swings out and knocks us over...Anderson takes us through an emotional journey that is epic, devastating, and deeply affecting...It’s a majestic and heart-wrenching performance, and not to be missed."
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May 6th, 2016

"Though these two may have a date with destiny, there is no spark between them. This proves to be the best thing Andrews could do with the play, by giving us a Blanche we can respect and a Stanley we cannot...It certainly finds new and welcome readings in Williams’ classic, which is what the best adaptations do...Andrews and Anderson keep a tight hand on the madness card, but they play, unflinchingly, the woman card, and it feels like Williams would agree."
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May 1st, 2016

"Flashy, canny, poignant...What’s remarkable in Andrews’s production is how current and often vital the material feels...Anderson is a haunting Blanche, imperious and frail, vicious and injured...Foster inhabits Stanley’s erotic fascination and violent temper without apology or ostentation. Andrews builds his production around their climactic confrontations, but some of the quieter moments register most strongly."
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May 1st, 2016

"Although there’s much to praise, the laurels go mostly to the cast. About other prominent aspects, there’s much to question...The cast members behave for the most part as if they’re in circumstances not compromised by the physical attributes provided here...The argument is being made that modernizing 'Streetcar' is a perfectly reasonable approach to new productions. That may be, but if so, the modernizing displayed here isn’t the right modernizing."
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May 1st, 2016

"The concept is a near disaster...In Andrews’ 'Streetcar', it’s not that Foster plays Stanley as a total brute. The bigger problem is that Anderson plays Stanley’s idea of Blanche...Because she is a very talented actress, Anderson is always entertaining to watch. She mines the character’s considerable humor, but not with a scalpel. She uses a jackhammer...Anderson’s idea of illusion is all Maybelline and Aqua Net."
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May 1st, 2016

"This 'Streetcar' is a shocking disappointment. Clocking in at an overheated but glacially slow three hours and 15 minutes, the production is heavy with phony rawness, look-at-me histrionics and a see-through contemporary set...Everyone in the play talks about Blanche’s refined demeanor, but Anderson’s one-note portrayal is hard, shrill and slutty from the start...Tennessee Williams is the one here who could have used protection."
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May 1st, 2016

"Anderson’s interpretation strikes a note of dissonance with the other performances from this cast—it will surely be a polarizing point for audiences; I liked it. Inarguably, it’s almost as if she were in an entirely different play from the other performers...This is an enjoyable interpretation of an American classic, unfrozen from its typical place in time. If 'Streetcar' doesn’t expose the emotional crises of its central characters, there’s no point watching it."
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May 2nd, 2016

“Benedict Andrews' brilliant new production makes you feel as if this classic play was written just yesterday...The immediacy of this ‘Streetcar’ comes from the galvanizing intensity of the actors, and from the genius of Andrews' staging...These actors leave nothing on the table, and in the end, neither does Andrews...It's that kind of show: transporting, thrilling, nerve-jangling.”
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May 9th, 2016

“The spareness and simplicity of Magda Willi’s minimalist cream-and-white set engage the audience...Gillian Anderson’s vivid Blanche is tougher than many other interpretations, making her downfall all the more extreme and meaningful as she gradually disintegrates...Ben Foster’s Stanley struts like a proud rooster throughout, but was for my taste a bit too one-note...Altogether, a terrific theatrical offering and a fine Tennessee Williams rendition.”
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May 2nd, 2016

“A gritty and gripping production...This production, directed by Benedict Andrews, unforgivingly refuses to offer the audience any sense of illusion...Anderson brings Blanche to trembling, desperate life...Foster inhabits Stanley with a much more casual attitude...Surprising at first, this offers even more shock and despair when, drunk with his male friends, Stanley erupts in violence.”
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May 3rd, 2016

"The acclaimed production is very tight, despite its three-hour run time, and presents a raw, brutal new staging…Anderson fits the bill perfectly as a woman who might be reaching the end of her saleable days…Powerhouse Ben Foster plays her antagonist Stanley Kowalski with an everyman violence that almost surpasses Marlon Brando in the role...But it's his vulnerability, especially in the scene where he cries and howls for Stella, that elevates him from mere caricature."
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May 3rd, 2016

"My reservations about Benedict Andrews's slick, vacuous production began with the set...The gleaming cube serves as a lavish but empty display case for a couple of rampant star performances...This production transpires in a vacuum, the play's markers of place and time ignored or misapplied...The production does have its rewards. Anderson's Blanche, aflutter with roiling tension, sighs her lines in singsong Southern cadences…Like Blanche herself, the production overstays its welcome."
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August 1st, 2014

"Benedict Andrews’s ferocious new production of Tennessee Williams’s immortal play is the first I’ve seen to make plain that this honey-voiced aggressor can give as good as she gets...The heightened advance interest in this production speaks first of all to a name-heavy cast headed by Gillian Anderson and Ben Foster, in what strikes me as one of the most even-handed appraisals of 'Streetcar' I have ridden over the years. And among the best-acted, too. That’s not to say this is the most moving."
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July 28th, 2014

"'A Streetcar Named Desire' remains an American classic, and Andrews rightly approaches it with gravitas and grit. But in a world where feminism, gay rights and post-modern parodies on 'The Simpsons' are now ingrained in popular culture, the feverish netherworld that Williams depicts perhaps inevitably feels more like shrill melodrama than groundbreaking drama. Fortunately, Blanche is the saving grace here, a hugely alluring car-crash heroine in any decade."
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July 29th, 2014

"Two trajectories determine 'A Streetcar Named Desire': the tragic arc of Gillian Anderson’s remarkably vivid Blanche, and that of the near-permanently revolving set...You sense the two are somewhat at war...What’s missing is centripetal energy, the inward force that would focus audiences on dramatic details. A great production makes audiences feel complicit; here, we’re merely impressed voyeurs."
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July 31st, 2014

"What’s refreshing here is just how formidable Anderson’s Blanche is...While Anderson might be the star attraction, the most compellingly original performance is Ben Foster’s...It’s a shame, then, that the production flounders at the same time Blanche begins to come apart at the seams...The tone shifts to heavily applied surrealism, lacking the freshness of what has gone before...This otherwise powerfully visceral production feels disappointingly laboured as it draws to a close."
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August 3rd, 2014

"Benedict Andrews's version steams off the stage with pain, excitement and clamour...Andrews's main interventions here are visual, taking you into the core of the play...The evening belongs to Anderson, who makes each phase of the DuBois disintegration her own...Her collapse is spectacular: a terror of blotched lipstick and flying petticoats. Her departure is a masterclass in how to make audiences weep."
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July 29th, 2014

"It's the best sort of theatre-in-the-round, turning the style's disadvantages and drawbacks to aesthetic triumph...Blanche literally lives out of her suitcase, a process I've never seen conveyed so poetically before...Ben Foster is hunky and sweaty, but sexual charisma's not his strong point...Williams's language melds poetry with base idiom, explosive argument with the jazz riffs of the emotionally, as well as materially, dispossessed. And that's what this production honours fully."
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July 29th, 2014

"Never have I seen a production of the play that was so raw in its emotion, so violent and so deeply upsetting...Staging is equally compelling...Performances are superb, with Gillian Anderson giving the performance of her career...There isn't a moment when the tension slackens or attention lapses. It is an absolute knock-out."
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December 13th, 2014

"Andrews does the play with an engrossing imaginative licence and visual splendour...And he has the great Gillian Anderson...It’s a performance by an actress of the first rank that everyone should see, but her Stanley, Ben Foster...gives us an unattractive troll of a man...This is as far-out and inventive a reconfiguring of 'Streetcar' as you’re ever likely to see. For all its skill, the way it establishes its own idiom with great authority doesn’t entirely ward off longueurs."
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