See it if Williams' slow burn Gothic romance is performed to the hilt by Ireland & Darrow Emotionally overwritten (naturally) but never overblown
Don't see it if Cummings' minimal staging takes a lot of patience but pays off Forces audience to strip down as emotionally as the leads
See it if Just to see Marin Ireland act is a magnificent day at theater. She is a star that should not be missed. Nathan Darrow does great as Dr. B
Don't see it if Thrust seating creates problems for some re:sight-lines and hearing. It is always a challenge for a director. Read more
See it if Opposing morals clash like the tension between body and soul and the inner and the outer you. Great spartan prod w/ concise acting by leads.
Don't see it if Bare stage forces the imagination and focuses concentration. No lighting changes for 2.5 hrs. My head hurts. Marin's tics consume 2nd act.
See it if You like everything mimed - pretend drink, pretend pill, etc. You like long talky plays that run 2 hours 40 minutes.
Don't see it if You expect a program before the show to help understand who is who. You expect scenery to help understand where the scene is.
See it if See great acting in a not well-known Tennessee Williams play. Two really committed performances.
Don't see it if Not a lot of action happens so it may not be for some looking for pure entertainment only.
See it if You are a Tennessee Williams fan - simmering love & family obligations in Mississippi. Marin Ireland & a stellar cast!
Don't see it if You do not like a slow, unfolding Southern drama. Characters are typical church goers v sinners. Very sexy implications. Minimal set.
See it if you love Tennessee Williams & Southern drama , Marin Ireland (a very amazing performance), minimalist staging
Don't see it if don't like minimalist staging - even though this was at CSC it was even more minimalist than Mr. Doyle (it was not directed by him) Read more
See it if You are a Williams fan -- the language is terrific. You want it see a fine performance by Marin Ireland. She is great.
Don't see it if Need splash and sizzle.
"In the otherwise lackluster revival...Ms. Ireland is riveting as the passionate yet prudish Alma Winemiller...This 'Summer and Smoke' has been scraped too close to the bone...If this 'Summer and Smoke' were performed silently you could still understand the story from her physicalization of Alma’s character...It’s the parsimony of the production that’s at fault, offering little that’s lovely except Michael John LaChiusa’s original music, in an apt neoclassical mode."
"Transport Group’s exquisite version at CSC is strong enough to power a rocket into orbit—and that’s without mentioning the gigantic performance at its center...Marin Ireland plays Alma Winemiller as though the part had been written for her, and as though it had been written yesterday; her Alma is at once radiant and frightening, as heart-stopping as a painting that looks up and catches your eye...These are the drawbacks of a 1948 play...But elsewhere the revival is grand."
"A spare, intelligent, deeply affecting production...The play is verbally lush and at times symbolic to the point of overripeness, but director Jack Cummings III’s light, exacting touch both lifts and elucidates the text...Cummings knows how little fuss-and-stuff a richly layered piece of writing needs to work on stage...Ireland is utterly thrilling as the heart of the production. She’s both a masterful technician and an actor whose emotional presence feels so alive it’s almost dangerous."
"Smolders with unsatisfied longing thanks to powerful performances and a handsomely pared-down staging...Alma is no shrinking violet as portrayed by the commanding Ireland...She has an instinctual grasp on this character...Darrow plays John with the languid confidence of one who knows he doesn't have to try very hard to be adored...A drama of unexpected richness, 'Summer and Smoke' reaches full bloom in this glorious production."
"Ireland must be regarded as one of the absolute best actors to regularly grace New York stages...One of the strongest and most engrossing of Williams' not-quite-classics...While the volatile chemistry between Ireland and Darrow is what primarily propels this wondrous production, they're supported by a fine ensemble...A minimalist production that effectively focuses on Williams' words and the captivating performances."
"Alma and John circle each other...The characters are vividly realized by Ireland and Darrow...Cummings III handles both his stars with assurance, carefully orchestrating their mutual ensnarement...There are moments when this sleek, emotionally acute production runs aground...Even if this is a sometimes flawed production...the poetry is there, and, thanks to the fine leads, it's an opportunity that anyone interested in this great American playwright would be foolish to miss."
“An emotionally fraught drama about loneliness, suppressed desire and the eternal quest for love in the face of an overwhelming need for sex...The superb Ireland in a performance of heartbreaking intensity and meticulous desperation...Darrow is sensational in an almost impossible role...It's a shame Cumming's oddly directed production isn't as electrifying as its stars and supporting cast...Distractions of Cumming's making pull the audience out of the action and away from the story.”
"First-rate, top-drawer, A-number-one revival...As the nervous, uncertain, giddy to the verge of frequent hysteria Alma, Ireland gives her best performance yet...Just as astonishing is Darrow as Alma’s counterpart John...Apart from eliciting the courageous performances, Cummings’s notable achievement here is to argue silently that 'Summer and Smoke' is easily comparable to 'The Glass Menagerie' and 'A Streetcar Named Desire.'"