Inside the 2014 Tony Award nominees: Best Revival of a Play


Image Credit: Michael J. Lutch

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The Glass Menagerie
Opened: Sept. 26, 2013

Closed: Feb. 23, 2014

Starring: Cherry Jones, Zachary Quinto, Celia Keenan-Bolger, and Brian J. Smith

Written by: Tennessee Williams

Directed by: John Tiffany

Synopsis: The story of the Wingfield family of St. Louis, led by matriarch Amanda (Jones), a southern belle past her prime, whose fantasies of a better life for her shy and crippled daughter Laura (Keenan-Bolger) force her restless son Tom (Quinto) to find a ‘gentleman caller’ for her.

EW review: “The setting is both real and unreal, as are the performances by a uniformly excellent cast, with subtle choreography (by Steven Hoggett) that recalls the unshowy movement in Tiffany’s musical hit Once. Cherry Jones is masterful as Amanda, the faded Southern belle who yearns for her children to have the opportunities that she herself squandered. There is a real poignancy in her portrayal, which avoids the extremes that have felled some other Amandas: She noodges without being smothering, and romanticizes the past without seeming delusional.” (Thom Geier)

Nominations:  7 – Best Revival of a Play, Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Play (Cherry Jones), Best Performance by an Actor in a Featured Role in a Play (Brian J. Smith), Best Performance by an Actress in a Featured Role in a Play (Celia Keenan-Bolger), Best Scenic Design of a Play (Bob Crowley), Best Lighting Design of a Play (Natasha Katz) and Best Direction of a Play (John Tiffany).

Fun fact: Although this is the seventh production of the Williams’ classic to play Broadway, it’s the first to receive a single Tony nomination. Maureen Stapleton, Jessica Tandy, Julie Harris, and Jessica Lange have all played Amanda on the Great White Way, but neither them or their productions were recognized in any capacity. That said, the original production, starring Laurette Taylor, opened in 1945 — two years before the Tonys began.

Celia Keenan-Bolger on her meta stage family: “That play is so loved by so many people and going into it I was a little intimidated cause it’s this great American play. But very quickly we all just found ourselves, mostly because of John Tiffany’s extraordinary vision. It was a process that felt like we were doing a new play. Getting to go to work everyday with Zach and Cherry and Brian and then doing the play with them, it was just – I’ve never done a play with four people or just go to work with the same exact four people everyday, and we became so close, we were a little family. It feels like we get to relive it again.”

Odds of winning: This has a better than decent shot at claiming the prize — if voters aren’t wooed by shows that played more recently.

NEXT PAGE: A Raisin in the Sun 

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