The Glass Menagerie | Performing Arts Review | Chicago Reader

The Glass Menagerie 

Sign up for our newsletters Subscribe

The Glass Menagerie, Raven Theatre. This was the first play I ever fell in love with--maybe because I grew up in Saint Louis, where Tennessee Williams's beautiful memory play is set, maybe because my mother had a touch of Amanda Wingfield about her. So whenever I hear another troupe is going to attempt this wonderful work, I sigh and roll my eyes, imagining how they're going to butcher it.

Raven Theatre's production took me by surprise. Under the clear-eyed direction of Scott Shallenbarger, it's one of the most balanced views of the Wingfield family dynamic I've ever seen. JoAnn Montemurro's Amanda isn't just a nag and a shrew; she's also been wounded in love and knows in her heart just how harsh the world is. (The play is set during the Depression, after all.) Brian McCaskill's Tom isn't just your typical angry young poet burning to be free; he's also childish and a bit of a fool. And Carri Levinson's Laura isn't just a sickly, martyred cripple; she's as full of thwarted desires as her mother and brother--though being less assertive, she's less likely to ever get what she wants.

What a gift to see this play with fresh eyes again. --Jack Helbig

Support Independent Chicago Journalism: Join the Reader Revolution

We speak Chicago to Chicagoans, but we couldn’t do it without your help. Every dollar you give helps us continue to explore and report on the diverse happenings of our city. Our reporters scour Chicago in search of what’s new, what’s now, and what’s next. Stay connected to our city’s pulse by joining the Reader Revolution.

Are you in?

  Reader Revolutionary $35/month →  
  Rabble Rouser $25/month →  
  Reader Radical $15/month →  
  Reader Rebel  $5/month  → 

Not ready to commit? Send us what you can!

 One-time donation  → 

More by Jack Helbig

Agenda Teaser

Performing Arts
March 21
Performing Arts
April 08

Popular Stories