EXCERPTS FROM THE REVIEW
The following are excerpts from the September 14, 2013 Baltimore Sun Review of The Glass Menagerie by Tim Smith
Everyone in the Tennessee Williams classic "The Glass Menagerie," which has been given a subtle and affecting revival to open Everyman Theatre's season, gets shattered in one way or another before the play ends with the gentle extinguishing of candles.
Director Vincent M. Lancisi approaches the material with obvious affection and draws from his beautifully matched cast unforced performances that allow words and feelings to register deeply.
And Daniel Ettinger has created a set that matches the sensitivity of the actors, conjuring the Wingfields' humble, late-1930s alley apartment in gentle touches (Jay A. Herzog's subdued lighting is ideal).
Deborah Hazlett offers a masterful portrayal of this difficult woman,
who is determined to hold onto every vestige of Southern gentility, and to find a suitable "gentleman caller" for her daughter before it is too late.
As usual, Hazlett bores into the character so deeply that it's easy to forget acting is involved. Her drawl has an unaffected, wonderfully musical quality that sends long stretches of dialogue spinning dynamically.
You sense all the best qualities of Amanda, and it's disarming, as when she and Laura makes wishes to a "little silver slipper of a moon." But Hazlett taps into the dark side of Amanda just as insightfully, especially in the last scene. She makes it terribly clear just how much Amanda has lost when aspirations for Laura and Tom's co-worker Jim — the unexpected gentleman caller — are crushed.
Sophie Hinderberger's Laura is most effective in the second act, after the arrival of Jim turns the house, and Laura, upside down. Matthew Schleigh's Jim is spot-on, all charm and smoothness until Laura awakens something unexpected, something impossible.
The music woven through the play is not very cohesive; a few too many styles compete. But that's a minor point in a production that gives Everyman a strong start for its first full season in its classy new theater.