Theater Info for the Washington DC region

Castaways Repertory Theatre A Streetcar Named Desire

By • Feb 6th, 2007 • Category: Reviews

Listen to our review of Castaways Repertory Theatre’s production of A Streetcar Named Desire [MP3 5:25 1.3MB].

Laura: This weekend we saw Castaways Repertory Theatre‘s production of A Streetcar Named Desire in Woodbridge Virginia.

Mike: A Streetcar Named Desire is the Pulitzer Prize winning play by Tennessee Williams. The story takes place in New Orleans. It focuses on Blanche DuBois who’s come into New Orleans to visit her sister Stella. Blanche does not get along with Stella’s husband Stanley. But that’s ok because he doesn’t get along with Blanche either. Blanche is a symbol of the old South while Stella and Stanley are symbols of the new South. The question is will the old South be able to cope with the new South?

Laura: This was the second show that we saw this weekend. It was also very depressing, definitely not a lighthearted comedy. It was a good show. It was very angry. It seems like there was a lot of underlying tension throughout the whole performance. Stella Kowalski tried to play the dutiful wife to Stanley, who was kind of mean. She also tried to be the good sister to her older sister, Blanche, who was going through some problems and struggling with some things. There was a lot of tension and a lot of conflict in the show. Not much of it came to the surface. It was kind of an underlying ripple throughout the whole performance.

Mike: It was interesting that Stanley was able to read through Blanche’s facade and know that she just wasn’t right. He wasn’t suspicious. He was very matter-of-fact about it. Unfortunately it put Stella in the middle of her sister and her husband. That made for an interesting tension throughout the show.

Laura: The role of Stella Kowalski was played by Erin M. Gallalee. She did a good job as the dutiful wife, although she did stand up for herself when she needed to. During the scene of the poker game she kind of told Stanley a few things she didn’t like about what was going on. She was also the good sister for Blanche DuBois. They had lots of good scenes together, such as when they were changing in the bedroom. She was trying to help Blanche understand what was going on in her life and how troubled she was. I liked her performance very much.

Mike: Stanley Kowalski was played by Pete Sampogna. He also gave a pretty strong performance. He was a smaller man than I was picturing for Stanley. Just having that picture in my mind of Marlon Brando as Stanley from the movies. He did a good job with it. I liked how he didn’t back down with Blanche. The scenes with Stanley and Stella when he was getting a bit violent were disturbing, but he didn’t flinch from it. It seemed pretty realistic.

Laura: And Stella’s older sister Blanche DuBois, was played by Kristine Cornils. She did a good job. She was flighty, she was trying to be the Old South. One of the poker players came in and she greeted him by raising her hand so she could kiss her hand. That didn’t go over well at all. I liked her. Not to give anything away, but the scene at the end was good and I think it was best for Blanche.

Mike: The set was actually very complex, but it was simply arranged. There was a complete apartment set up including bedroom, bathroom, kitchen, and dining area. But there were no walls. Unfortunately, it really distracted me a lot when the people would walk through the walls or they would talk through the walls at each other. I realize that’s just one of those things. But it just irked me when they would just walk through a wall or yell through a wall at each other. I liked the stairs they used at the front door of the apartment. It gave them a little bit of elevation so they could do some more entrances and give the actors a little more presence on stage. That was used a lot which was nice.

Laura: A Streetcar Named Desire is playing through February 17th. Fridays and Saturdays at 8 PM with a matinee and an evening performance on February 10th. I do recommend you see this how. It is good, well acted, well performed.

Mike: The show is about two and a half hours long with one intermission. There were a few spots in it where it was a little bit slow paced. Over all the show moved right along.

Laura: And now, on with the show.

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started ShowBizRadio in August 2005 because they love live theater. They each have both performed in and worked behind the scenes in DC area productions, as well as earned a Career Studies Certificate in Theater from Northern Virginia Community College. Mike & Laura are each members of the American Theatre Critics Association, and Mike is a member of the Online News Association.

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