Closed 2h 25m
Desire
Midtown E
76

Desire NYC Reviews and Tickets

76%
(15 Reviews)
Positive
73%
Mixed
27%
Negative
0%
Members say
Great acting, Ambitious, Intelligent, Entertaining, Absorbing

About the Show

59 E 59 presents six world premiere plays based on Tennessee Williams' short stories.

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Member Reviews (15)

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65
Ambitious, Quirky, Slow, Disappointing

See it if you can't get enough of Tennessee Wms, even if this is ersatz TW. Some pieces worked better than others, but the evening was slooow.

Don't see it if you have the option of seeing real TW. He wrote lots of good, interesting plays (these were adapted stories). Acting was overall solid. Read more

80
Entertaining, Great acting, Great staging, Ambitious, Quirky

See it if You are a fan of Tennessee Williams. If you want to see an outstanding performance of a future star: Liv Rooth.

Don't see it if You like consistency in your theatergoing. Some pieces are excellent; some not so much.

Critic Reviews (16)

September 10th, 2015

"The playwrights take varied approaches to dramatizing Williams’s stories...Some are more successful than others in giving fleshed-out form to these often minor tales. The larger question is whether second-guessing the writer himself, is a fruitful pastime. Over all, on the evidence of this production, I’d have to say no."
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September 15th, 2015

"While any night of vignettes is inevitably mixed, this program is satisfying in small, intense doses...Michael Wilson directs an appealing, uniformly good ensemble and the movements flow swiftly, offering variety at every turn. Most American playwrights today owe some debt to Williams; it’s a pleasure, even inspiring, to see six give back."
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September 10th, 2015

"Another in a series of theatrical misadventures that makes you question the management of the Tennessee Williams estate. I wouldn’t be complaining about this if any of the experiments were ever any good, but they’re not, and this latest one is particularly annoying, like shaking up a soda can full of tired Tennesseeisms."
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September 10th, 2015

"The evening is uneven — a given with this sort of project. But director Michael Wilson pulls together the various approaches, the cast swiftly switches from role to role, and Williams’ themes and obsessions mostly come through, even when the adapters take liberties with the stories."
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September 10th, 2015

"A new Tennessee Williams tasting menu of one-acts goes down easy. Some specific courses leave something to be desired, but each work brings echoes of Williams’ indelible characters — and reminders of how the playwright could go from poetic to purple like nobody else."
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September 15th, 2015

"Audiences will not want to miss this opportunity to see the work of Williams brilliantly adapted for the stage. The show has extraordinary direction by Michael Wilson. Each and every scene is entrancing...The collection of shorts has just the right variety of themes to keep the audience completely captivated."
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September 11th, 2015

"A must for Williams fans, 'Desire' is filled with so many grace notes and accomplished performances that it should prove satisfying for all. At its best, it's a captivating collaboration across the generations, resulting in new works that are solidly grounded in the lesser-known writings of one of our greatest artists."
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September 15th, 2015

"With these adapted short stories, he has opened an entirely new avenue to explore, and given that Williams published dozens of stories in addition to his plays, there is clearly more to be mined. The performances by a very solid cast, along with excellent scenic and projection desgn and costumes, make 'Desire' an important addition to the list of theater works for Williams aficionados to discover."
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September 8th, 2015

"A most remarkable theatrical event ...What makes 'Desire' unprecedented, is the freedom of each playwright to handle the material while projecting the flavor of the nation’s most lyric playwright. Drawing out the uniqueness while retaining the Williams aura is no mean feat, and Wilson’s brilliant direction accomplishes it with panache."
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T
September 17th, 2015

"Overall, these six plays by distinguished playwrights lack the intense passion of Tennessee Williams’ writing though three come very close and are outstanding. The grittiness and despair found in the originals has been sanitized and the psychological trauma that accompanies being human succumbs to an uncomfortable blandness...Direction by Michael Wilson is overall proficient and serviceable but not always consistent from short play to short play."
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September 10th, 2015

"The plays vary in their fidelity to their source, and in their effectiveness on stage. But together they offer a fascinating lesson in the art of adaptation, and serve as a welcome stimulus to become acquainted, or reacquainted, with the short stories that Williams wrote his entire life."
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September 15th, 2015

"This kind of thing is always a dangerous undertaking as the literary requirements of the short story form and the dramatic ones of one-act plays don’t always mesh, even when the short story writer is also a great dramatist. The plays on view range from mediocre to memorable. "
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B
September 10th, 2015

"The Acting Company commissioned six playwrights to write short plays based on stories by Tennessee Williams. The results are decidedly mixed...Jeff Cowie’s set design of weathered planks provides a neutral background for his projections. David C. Woolard’s costumes are fine. Michael Wilson’s direction is fluid."
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September 15th, 2015

"The plays are acute, well written, and skillfully acted. Director Michael Wilson’s unique perspective pairs with the adaptions to convey the real, poetic truths inherent in Williams. The best allow Williams’s voice and characters to reign and enforce the unique mark of the playwrights as they fashion Williams’s works to make them their own."
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September 15th, 2015

"If there is one thing that is consistent across this series of shorts, it is the language, reveling in itself and prone to musical, expansive monologues that transport you to another world...Under the expert guidance of these six playwrights, Tennessee Williams' prose 'makes you remember things you didn't know you'd forgotten.'"
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W
September 18th, 2015

"What is certain is that each of these playwrights, in an evening titled 'Desire,' went about the task of adaptation in his or her individual way, with differing degrees of success...Michael Wilson has directed savvily, and all the actors, who play two or three roles each, are members of The Acting Company and highly competent."
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