The Rose Tattoo

I don't think I like Tennessee Williams. Granted, I only vaguely recall the plots of the Glass Menagerie and a Streetcar Named Desire. I do however remember well that they haven't aged well, and I found them generally stressful.

I figured I'd give him a third chance with The Rose Tattoo. It's supposed to be a comedy, and it stars Marissa Tomei. If I was going to change my opinion of Mr. Williams it'd be because of this. Unfortunately, that did't happen.

The writing itself is fine. You can tell it was funny when it was written, but I'm not sure why they're bothering to stage it today. There's a lot of very dated content around sex and love. Some of the grapplings with religion might have been a big deal at the time, but today they're barely noticed.

The production I saw was not much better. The actors consistently had terrible Italian accents. Dick Van Dyke would have done a better job. These were so over the top that I couldn't tell what they were going for. I think there were some bits that claimed to be slapstick, but I couldn't tell over the accents.

The staging was weird. It was never quite clear when the characters were inside the house or outside of it. There was some invisible wall they all had to pass through and you had to keep track of it as you were watching.

The cast also felt excessive. There were children running around the stage, one of which may have been a goat? It's not clear. The children were never adequately explained. Neither was the neighbor with the eye patch. In a better written play, she would have some backstory or purpose; here she was just a prop.

I left this show generally confused about what I saw. I didn't hate it, but I wouldn't recommend it either.

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