A Formalist Affair

Bruce Mckenzie and Elizabeth Marvel In Streetcar: Smashing Chairs And Naturalism
photo: Joan Marcus
Bruce Mckenzie and Elizabeth Marvel In Streetcar: Smashing Chairs And Naturalism

The balance of the entire production can get rather screwy. Van Hove will sometimes displace the energy of one scene into a different one, undercutting the melodrama at the expense of narrative coherence. When Stanley looks through Blanche's strongbox for the papers connected to the loss of the DuBois home, he acts as if the documents are in her crotch, but during their showdown it appears as if a ghost is attacking Blanche in the bathtub. Van Hove leaves just enough space for the mind to fill in the blanks and connect the dots, in somewhat the way Blanche would like the strangers upon whose kindness she depends to do. Life for this decaying diva is itself a performance, and truth, like the sort of "truth" that happens onstage, is only what you say it is.

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