Presented by Scott Rudin and Lincoln Center Theater
By Tennessee Williams
Directed by Sam Gold
Cast: Sally Field, Joe Mantello, Finn Wittrock, Madison Ferris
Scenic Design: Andrew Lieberman
Costume Design: Wojciech Dziedzic
Lighting Design: Adam Silverman
Sound Design: Bray Poor
First Performance February 7, 2017
Opening March 9, 2017
Final Performance July 2, 2017
Submit a review for The Glass Menagerie
‘The Glass Menagerie’ is the play that brought a brilliant young writer named Tennessee Williams to national attention, and, in his own words, “changed my life irrevocably” when it first premiered on Broadway in 1945. More than seventy years later, Williams’s most personal work for the stage continues to captivate and overwhelm audiences around the world.
Mr. Gold first directed this production of ‘The Glass Menagerie’ with an entirely Dutch cast at Toneelgroep Amsterdam (Ivo van Hove, Artistic Director) in an engagement that garnered rave reviews and massive international attention.
Ben Brantley – New York Times
That shattering sound you hear coming from the Belasco Theater is the celebrated director Sam Gold taking a hammer to everything that’s delicate in “The Glass Menagerie.” The jagged, glistening shards of Tennessee Williams’s breakthrough play are available for inspection in the revival that opened on Thursday night.
Marilyn Stasio – Variety
Of all the plays in the American canon, “The Glass Menagerie” seems a most unlikely candidate for deconstruction. But that doesn’t deter director Sam Gold (“Fun Home,” “Othello”) from laying hands on this Tennessee Williams gem and subjecting it to a severe reinterpretation — thereby hugely challenging the efforts of a very keen Sally Field.
Alexis Soloski – The Guardian
As directed by Sam Gold (Fun Home, The Flick), in a version first seen at the Toneelgroep Amsterdam, this Glass Menagerie is a cerebral, often surprising deconstruction and reinvestigation of an American classic. (The style does owe something to Toneelgroep’s head, Ivo van Hove, but the expressive palette and the artistic attack are notably different.) Centered on the notion of The Glass Menagerie as a memory play, this is a more radical interpretation than the John Tiffany production seen on Broadway a few years ago and at times wilfully at odds with the play as written, particularly its stage directions.
Jeremy Gerard – Deadline
Sally Field‘s citric, unvarnished performance as Amanda Wingfield is so riveting you may find your focus pulled from the larger picture created by Sam Gold‘s shocking revival of The Glass Menagerie, which opened tonight at Broadway’s Belasco Theatre. Stripped bare of the accoutrements of poverty Williams so carefully articulated in the notes for his 1945 “memory play,” Gold (Fun Home) takes more seriously Williams’ prefatory caution that “everyone should know nowadays the unimportance of the photographic in art: that truth, life, or reality is an organic thing which the poetic imagination can represent or suggest, in essence, only through transformation” free of the “exhausted theater of realistic conventions…”
Joe Dziemianowicz – NY Daily News
On paper, it’s intriguing. In practice, it makes for a disjointed “Glass” that is empty of emotion and impact. Intimacy gets lost when actors seem to be in different plays. Field fares best and holds her own in a low-key, mostly drawl-free performance. Mantello is too tic-y by half, Wittrock is one-note eager-beaver-y and Ferris, who uses a wheelchair offstage, is a newcomer whose lack of experience shows. Jim and Laura’s doomed encounter always stirs up feelings — but not here.
Tim Teeman – The Daily Beast
Every immaculately crafted moment of Sam Gold’s staging of Tennessee Williams’s The Glass Menagerie rings as clear as it does true. There is no reason to close your eyes, but you could, and the actors’ beautiful enunciation and encapsulation of Williams’s words would be as pleasurable as the best radio play.
David Rooney – The Hollywood Reporter
“I give you truth in the pleasant disguise of illusion,” says Tom Wingfield, the thinly veiled stand-in for playwright Tennessee Williams in the opening monologue of his semi-autobiographical memory play, The Glass Menagerie. In a bold experiment that’s often riveting but seldom wholly satisfying, director Sam Gold rips away illusion like a bandage off a wound — along with other signatures of the playwright such as poetry, magic, artifice — in a forensic examination that fights against the text just as Tom clashes in his love-hate relationship with his domineering mother, Amanda. Despite some fine work from the actors, you end up being moved more by the sheer resilience of the writing than by the intrusive presentation.
Chris Jones – Chicago Tribune
Surely, no star in the history of Broadway has made a more inauspicious entrance than Sally Field’s first appearance as poor Amanda Wingfield in director Sam Gold’s starkly unforgiving, mostly unafraid and surely unforgettable revival of “The Glass Menagerie,” a production that scrambles the politics and poetics of the presumed fragile Tennessee Williams’ fever dream by conceiving of a Laura whose disability is not slight, not in her own head, and not merely a symbolic manifestation of debilitating fraternal or maternal expectation.
Matthew Murray – Talkin’ Broadway
Such choices that don’t serve the play extend to the acting as well. Only Mantello comes close to bridging the gap between Williams and Gold; the particular brand of dry cynicism he deploys is, at best, tangentially related to Tom, but at least brands him as a recognizable type of today: a recalcitrant activist. Field, though, flounders, her bewildering portrayal communicating mildly frustration rather than the desperation that, until now, has always been a defining quality of Amanda. Wittrock exerts visible effort to give a conventional performance on 2017 terms, and might succeed if Jim weren’t unimpeachably old-fashioned. And to the limited extent Ferris makes an impression, it’s of Laura’s innate vacant soullessness—a spin on the part that can certainly be called innovative.
Jesse Green – Vulture
The choice wasn’t idle; having directed the Amsterdam production with a Laura who was not disabled, Gold specifically sought an actress for Broadway who is. The production’s final gesture, too, deliberately contradicts Williams’s stage directions, changing much of the play’s impact without altering any dialogue. Purists, if there are any, may yelp. But this is not the only Glass Menagerie any of us is likely to see in our lifetime; it’s a Glass Menagerie, one that restores what must have been the shock of the original while also reframing our ideas about Williams as an imperfect person and a pitiless autobiographer. That’s bracing; like the onstage rain that pours tumultuously during the final scene, it smells fresh and raises shivers.
Roma Torre – NY 1
It’s strange to see “The Glass Menagerie” returning to Broadway so soon after the stunning revival less than four years ago. But here we are again. This time, Sam Gold is in the director’s chair imposing a bizarre conceptual take on the great memory play that, despite some strong performances, may be best left forgotten.