The Kindness of Students

Tennessee Williams takes a spin around the Ring Theatre

Sexual tension so thick you can cut it with a knife. Humor wicked enough to make Liz Taylor blush. Greed, death, dysfunction, and “the powerful and obnoxious odor of mendacity.” Hardly the kind of thing you’d expect from fresh-faced college students, but that’s just what you’ll discover at the University of Miami’s Ring Theatre. The Theater Arts Department is opening its season with a boozy bang, with the rich sinfulness of Tennessee Williams’s Cat on a Hot Tin Roof. Can Streetcar be far behind?

The play has revived more than a dozen floundering acting careers -- Kathleen Turner, Ashley Judd, Jason Patric, and the late Fred Gwynne have all drawled and stumbled their way across the stage, and the 1958 film further cemented Paul Newman, La Liz, and Burl Ives as Hollywood icons -- all with good reason. Williams captured the dynamics of Southern gentility with sprawling, magnificent roles that give actors a chance to act sexy, drink onstage, and hiss at each other with ferocity. Theater buffs should be determined to see it. And there’s nothing more determined than a cat on a hot tin roof, is there? Is there, baby? Oh yeah.
Fri., Oct. 12, 2007

 
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