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A Streetcar Named Desire

Members say: Great acting, Absorbing, Great staging, Intense, Ambitious
84
Critics
70
31 reviews
Members
86
168 reviews
 

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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Benedict Andrews’ maverick production of 'A Streetcar Named Desire' stars Gillian Anderson, Ben Foster, Corey Johnson and Vanessa Kirby. With its transparent, revolving set, all conversations are overheard, there’s nowhere to hide, and the ensuing tragedy purposefully spins toward its inevitable last line.

 

Cast & Creatives (7)



Reviews (199)

See: Critics' Reviews | Members' Reviews
70
Avg Score

90
The New York Times

"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." Full Review

85
Theatermania

"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." Full Review

40
New York Post

"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." Full Review

55
Time Out New York

"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." Full Review

85
The Guardian (UK)

"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." Full Review

60
New York Magazine / Vulture

"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." Full Review

25
Lighting & Sound America

“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.” Full Review

80
The Hollywood Reporter

"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." Full Review

80
AM New York

"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." Full Review

65
The Huffington Post

"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." Full Review

60
New York Daily News

"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." Full Review

100
Front Mezz Junkies

"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." Full Review

25
Newsday

"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." Full Review

40
The Wrap

"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." Full Review

80
WNBC

"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." Full Review

95
NJ.com

“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.” Full Review

95
Theater Pizzazz

"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." Full Review

70
Exeunt Magazine

"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." Full Review

80
Epoch Times

“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.” Full Review

85
Carey Purcell

“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.” Full Review

35
Village Voice

"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." Full Review

90
Entertainment Weekly

"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.” Full Review

90
Edge New York

"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." Full Review

75
Variety

for a previous production "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." Full Review

75
The Hollywood Reporter

for a previous production "'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." Full Review

See: Critics' Reviews | Members' Reviews
86
Avg Score

96
Absorbing, Dizzying, Great acting, Resonant, Riveting

See it if You want to see Gillian in a transformative performance.

Don't see it if You'll get dizzy with a moving stsge

85
Absorbing, Dizzying, Great acting, Great staging

See it if you love a clever modernization of a classic with a stellar cast, want to see Gillian Anderson's masterful portrayal of Blanche

Don't see it if you get bored by long productions over 3 hours, you don't like the idea of a spinning/rotating set

90
Absorbing, Great acting, Intense, Slow, Great staging

See it if u want a captivating & claustrophobic update on classic. Having the leads rarely exit the stage ratchets up the domestic tension. Sweltering

Don't see it if u want sexy-ice-queen Gillian of "Hannibal"/"The Fall." G radiates as much heat as the New Orleans streets & is as unhinged as the shutters.

85
Ambitious, Clever, Great acting, Intense, Refreshing

See it if magnetic, high-octane Anderson and vulnerable, wily, hypnotizing Foster. A high-concept, absorbing revival.

Don't see it if production without much sympathy for Blanche. The play comes off as a misogynist fantasy, which can be a frustrating read if you don't agree

82
Indulgent, Revelatory, Grating, Overstays its welcome, Fresh spin

See it if you want to see fantastic actors take on a classic with a director who has thrilling ways to get us in the mindset of Blanche & Stanley.

Don't see it if you have no desire to see "updated" classics. Once Blanche flips into insanity the production loses its bearings as well.

95
Captivating, Absorbing, Great acting, Moving, Explosive

See it if You want to see a fresh, timely take on a canonical piece. All actors great esp Gillian A. Moving and mesmerizing

Don't see it if You dislike this play or long (nearly 3 hour) plays in general; quibble about imperfect accents (Blanche). Moving sets make you dizzy.

95
Enchanting, Great acting, Masterful, Must see, Great staging

See it if you want an original interpretation of a classic play. The set was amazing and Anderson was a tour de force, I'd go just to see her.

Don't see it if you don't like Tennessee Williams' works, theater in the round, or an intense portrayal of a woman's mental demise.

66
Great writing, Disappointing, Cliched, Overrated, Slow

See it if You never saw the film. If you think that Stanley was a bit of a whiner. You think Stella should be equally sexy to Blanche.

Don't see it if You get a headache from revolving stages. If Brando is Stanley/Kim Hunter, Stella.If you want payoff from great dialog/rhythm in the scenes.

68
Ben foster misses by a mile; no sexual tension or charisma, Gillian anderson portrays the unraveling blanche superbly in act 2, Revolving stage distances the audience and becomes annoying to negotiate the blockage, Costumes are at odds with one another; settle on a time period, modern or 1940's?, Riveting moments mostly anderson's

See it if fresh look at Streetcar, with Blanche at the center instead of Stanley as an equal contentious cunning adversary. Love Gillian Anderson

Don't see it if You love the original and you expect Brando. Aren't looking for a modern rendition of a great old play,heavy handed direction without nuance

78
Original, Thought-provoking

See it if You are open to a alternate vision of Streetcar. It is distancing & unwelcoming though in the end the power of the play will capture you.

Don't see it if You have more respect for the traditional, can't take the accents, don't want to spend forever as it slooowly spins on. Worth seeing though.

87
Ambitious, Exquisite, Great acting, Intense, Masterful

See it if You like different interpretations of classic shows. Gillian Anderson's walk around the stage at the end is something that will haunt you.

Don't see it if You like your classics "by the book".

82
Absorbing, Intense, Riveting, Gimmicky

See it if you want a very good revival of one of the greatest plays in the American canon; you want to see a bravura performance by Gillian Anderson.

Don't see it if the gimmicky staging (rotating set, pop/rock music interludes, modern setting) will put you off from an otherwise seductive production.

69
Indulgent, Banal, Confusing, Disappointing, Insipid

See it if you want to see Gillan Anderson doing something odd with a pillow between her legs. Rotating stage cuts monologs to ribbons killing the play

Don't see it if you like Williams or Streetcar. Waiting for Blanche's high heels to sweep her off the revolving platform distracted me from the drama.

80
Absorbing, Ambitious, Epic, Great acting, Riveting

See it if you are a fan of Tennessee and the great master plays. Or of Anderson who absolutely fills the stage as Blanche.

Don't see it if you can't stand long plays, modernized plays, tension and violence.

86
Absorbing, Edgy, Great acting

See it if are into excellent acting, like Gillian Anderson; a great staging of the Williams classic

Don't see it if are easily nauseated (the rotating stage can be distracting)

100
Absorbing, Great acting, Masterful, Great writing, Great staging

See it if You want to be engaged in a fresh approach to a classic that shows what great acting and direction is

Don't see it if You don't like heavy dramas

90
Absorbing, Epic, Great acting, Resonant, Great staging

See it if Capable and superb cast from top to bottom; the production all high school students would want to see for the clarity of presentation

Don't see it if 3 hour 20 minutes is an epic amount of time even for a classic; many scene changes include obnoxiously blaring music which is insulting

90
Absorbing, Edgy, Great acting, Profound, Great writing

See it if You like a fresh take on a classic. I was glued to my seat for 3+ hours.

Don't see it if You will have trouble with the revolving set with the audience on all sides. Too often I couldn't see the actors' faces.

89
Ambitious, Epic, Great acting, Masterful, Great staging

See it if you love being emotionally impacted by plays

Don't see it if you feel like a fun or light play

95
Great acting, Masterful, Must see, Refreshing, Great staging

See it if you like a breakthrough take of a classic drama

Don't see it if you get dizzy with spinning set.

76
Ambitious, Great acting, Intense

See it if Gillian Anderson's powerful performance was worth the price of admission. Slick contemporary set and great lighting. Intimate experience.

Don't see it if you don't like plays that are longer than 2 1/2 hrs. you don't like modern adaptations of classic plays, or extreme southern accents.

80
Funny, Delightful, Great writing, Slow, Great staging

See it if You like Tennessee Williams and enjoy the show. You enjoy great acting. If you enjoy stories of a southern belle, or the complexities of fam

Don't see it if You need "Trigger warnings." If you can't sit still, it's long, and slow in parts. If you only enjoy happy musicals.

95
Great acting, Intense, Masterful, Must see, Great staging

See it if If you want to have your mind blown by the incredible acting & staging! Well deserved standing ovation! Fabulous production!

Don't see it if You are squeamish of spinning objects, loud sounds, blood or violence.

91
Absorbing, Epic, Great acting, Great writing, Great staging

See it if you want to see a modernistic superlative production of the classic.

Don't see it if well, i can't see any reason not to see this epic production. don't go if you don't like theatre. :)

95
Ambitious, Great acting, Intense, Must see

See it if you're looking for a new interpretation of an old classic. Gillian Anderson is incredible and the hours fly by.

Don't see it if you don't enjoy leaving Manhattan (but you totally should to see this show).