Synopsis by Mike Cummings
This production presents the complete text of A Streetcar Named Desire, the 1947 Tennessee Williams masterpiece. The story centers on the destruction of a lonely Mississippi widow, Blanche DuBois (Jessica Lange), by her brutally outspoken brother-in-law, Stanley Kowalski (Alec Baldwin). The play begins when Blanche arrives in New Orleans from Laurel, Mississippi, at the squalid apartment of her pregnant sister, Stella, and Stella's husband, Kowalski. After announcing that she is on leave from a teaching position, Blanche discloses that creditors have expropriated the family estate, Belle Reve. Consequently, sister Stella will never receive a penny of her share in the property. Skeptical, Stanley angrily demands documented proof of the property loss. Blanche provides it. The lingering animosity from this incident then builds relentlessly over several months. To protect herself from Stanley and his crude working-class world, Blanche cocoons herself in a delusional world of Old South ideals. She is ever the aristocratic belle. Truculent Stanley, however, seizes every opportunity to bullyrag dainty Blanche. He despises her elegant ways, her put-on airs. In turn, she shudders at his rudeness and vulgarity. But deep in her lonely soul--deep in the instinctual id that drove her to promiscuity in Laurel--she harbors a perverse attraction for Stanley. Her mental state, meanwhile, verges on insanity; one day her prince will come, an Old South cavalier with a gleaming sword. When Stanley's friend Mitch woos her, Stanley sabotages the romance after digging into Blanche's past and tattling to Mitch about her affairs. Stella goes into labor and gives birth. When proud papa Stanley returns from the hospital, Blanche is swilling liquor. Stanley gulps a few and rapes Blanche. She then steps across the border between the real and the unreal as the play draws to a conclusion.
animosity, delusion, friendship, husband-and-wife, insanity, pregnancy, sister, widow/widower, property