Tennessee Williams’ A Streetcar Named Desire was the Ritz Theatre Company’s second production for their 2015 season. It is a play that juxtapositions the so-called “Southern Gentility,” tottering on its last legs in the character of the mentally unstable Blanche Dubois, against the rough and tumble, sometimes violent, often immigrant Americana, swaggering full force in the character of Stanley Kowalsky, with Blanche’s sister Stella caught between the two.
The play is masterfully acted and staged. All four major actors, Jennie Knacksteadt as Blanche, Casey Williams-Ficarra as Stella, Patrick Alicarlo as Stanley, and Cyrus Samson as Mitch, played their parts with precision, incisive insight, and finesse.
The minor actors are equally as good. A lovely touch is the addition of a jazz singer with a gorgeous voice, Rhonda V. Fidelia, who croons or belts out a song pertinent to her scenes.
The set, designed by Kris Clayton, was a work of art. It captured the essence of the play perfectly, from the seedy two room apartment shared by Stella, Stanley and Blanche, to the outside steps leading up to the apartment above.
A classic of 20th century American theater, it is worth seeing, but it is a long play, and a depressing one, so only see it if you’re fortified with – …something. Good spirits, maybe, or the liquid kind. Kudos, though, to the Ritz, for doing it, and doing it so well.
A Streetcar Named Desire ended on March 29th, at the Ritz Theatre, located at 915 White Horse Pike, Haddon Township. Tickets for upcomiong productions can be purchased at 856.858.5230, on-line at www.ritztheatreco.org or at the box office.