CRITICS LAUD TRTC’S BRITTLE ‘MENAGERIE’

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The first reviews the Two River Theater Co.’s new production of “The Glass Menagerie” are in, and they’re raves.

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Theater critic Peter Filichia of the Star-Ledger
writes that director (and TRTC founder) Bob Rechnitz’s take on the Tennessee Williams classic “turns out to be as refreshing as the lemonade that Amanda Wingfield loves to serve.”

Amanda, of course, is the mother to the adult children Tom and Laura, and the three of them clash over their thwarted dreams in a Depression-era St. Louis tenement. Filichia writes that TRTC veteran Maureen Silliman plays Amanda the charmer “brilliantly.”

What’s most astonishing about Silliman is that she makes an audience believe that she’s improvising each line, and not that she’s carefully learned dialogue. Spontaneous performances such as these are rare and must be cherished.

Writing in the Asbury Park Press, Tom Chesek — who also pens features for redbankgreen — compares the production to the “magically infused, murderously energetic ‘Macbeth,'” the last (and record-busting) show to occupy the Bridge Avenue stage.

There’s magic in “The Glass Menagerie” as well — not Macbeth’s glitzy grand guignol, but the kind of subtle sorcery that can conjure a well-earned teardrop, a deserved chuckle or an appropriately rapt silence.

The show opened Saturday night and runs through April 13.

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