By November 7, 2016 Read More →

Tennessee Williams and Carson McCullers: A Gay Romp at “31 Pine Street”

A Gay Romp at “31 Pine Street”

By Summer Krafft

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Center Stage Conservatory’s presentation of the world premiere of 31 Pine Street, a fictionalized account of a summer spent in Nantucket by Tennessee Williams and Carson McCullers, is a fast-paced, hysterical depiction of these two literary figures. The play is both written and directed by Derek Botelho, who shows a mastery in his shaping and pacing of dialogue between these two great minds. Even the set is disheveled, with crumpled up papers and empty bottles of liquor scattered about. The whole evening is somehow a drunken whirlwind, but in no way a downward spiral. Though nothing in the play is lacking, from music to lighting design, the bright spot of this production is Daniel James Moody, who plays a young Tennessee Williams. He is never wavering in his flamboyant, high-octane charm, flittering about the stage. He portrays Williams as a layered, complex man, even if his primary goal in the play is to have a good time. Moody holds his balance of manic character and sincere composure convincingly through every scene, when Williams could have easily become a stereotype. Though very playful, 31 Pine Street also does the important work of addressing cultural issues of the time, the American 1940’s, such as the treatment of mental illness, racial tensions, and of course, how to live a queer life in a world that is not yet accepting of those identities. Important work is being done on this stage in two ways: these two literary greats working on their next great genius, and the actors breaking down barriers for the audience’s entertainment and understanding.

31 Pine Street” will continue playing at Center Stage Conservatory’s Lower Level Studio on November 11, 12, 17, 18, and 19 at 8:00p.m. and November 13 and 20 at 2:00 p.m.

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