SHOW: And Tell sad Stories of the Deaths of Queens...
GROUP: Blue Suede Productions
ATTENDED: Sun., Sept. 8, 6 p.m., London Grill-Paris Wine Bar
CLOSES: Sept. 9
BRIEF SELF-DESCRIPTION: “Tennessee Williams began writing Queens in 1957 and worked on it until 1970. It tells the story of Candy Delaney, a transvestite living in a luxurious flat in 1950s New Orleans. Desperately heartbroken, she meets Karl at a bar, lures him home, where she will do anything for his true companionship.”
WE THINK: That this show closes tonight is a mercy, given that it wasn’t ready to open yesterday. Whatever value there might be in resurrecting a deservedly forgotten — not because of its once-controversial openly gay characters, but because it’s not very good — script is obscured by an amateurish production. The actors struggle to remember lines, the pacing is slow and aimless, and the staging in the London Grill’s long, narrow Paris Wine Bar is awkward, hindered by a cram-as-many-chairs-in-as-possible, sightlines-be-damned plan. Line rehearsals, coherent props (is ice that hard to get in a restaurant?) and a plan for the scene break, which stuck a stupefying ten-minute intermission into a forty-five minute play, are bare minimum requirements for this not-ready-for-prime-time group.
If you can stand all that — and you shouldn’t, though standing is the only way to see — there’s still this pathetic play, in which seemingly self-sufficient drag queen Candy picks up a rough, gay-hating dolt and inexplicably vows her undying love to the brute. He drinks her liquor, steals her money, and beats her, but, shit, that’s love, right?
Williams called this a comedy, which makes me think Williams was one sick sad fuck.
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