By Patrick Hurley
The Pasadena Playhouse will be hosting Four By Tenn, staged readings of Tennessee Williams plays in conjunction with the Playhouse’s development production of God Looked Away, a play about Williams at the end of his career and starring Al Pacino and Judith Light.
The first night of the series featured a stunningly well cast Night of The Iguana, led by Alison Pill and Thomas Sadoski, directed by Jessica Kubzansky. All of the actors dug into the beauty of Williams’ language and found the underlying action so successfully that the reading of it was as riveting as any staged production in recent memory. It was a nod to the power of Tennessee Williams ability as a dramatic lyricist, a writer whose prose rose above the limitations of his time and transcends to something sublime, something that a group of actors standing at music stands, simply reading his words with the intention of telling a story, are able to turn into a beautiful work of art.
The Pasadena Playhouse began its celebration of Tennessee Williams earlier this month with the inaugural PlayWorks development production God Looked Away The new play is an ode to Williams at the end of his career. The theater presented Williams’ World Premieres You Touched Me in 1943 and The Purification in 1944. The Playhouse also presented Tennessee’s West Coast Premiere of Stairs to the Roof in 1945. During the run of God Looked Away, patrons can visit the theater’s Georgia T. McClay Friendship Center to see the free exhibit celebrating the life of the great playwright Tennessee Williams.
The reading schedule is as follows:
FOUR BY TENN: A TENNESSEE WILLIAMS READING SERIES SCHEDULE:
Monday, February 27, 8:00 p.m.
Night of the Iguana
Directed by Jessica Kubzansky
Featuring Alison Pill and Thomas Sadoski
Monday, March 6, 8:00 p.m.
A Streetcar Named Desire
Directed by John Sloan
Performed by members of Antaeus Theatre Company
Monday, March 13, 8:00 p.m.
Cat on a Hot Tin Roof
Directed by Snehal Desai
Performed in association with East West Players
Monday, March 20, 8:00 p.m.
The Eccentricities of a Nightingale
Directed by Diane Rodriguez
Performed by members of HERO Theatre
FOUR BY TENN: A TENNESSEE WILLIAMS READING SERIES plays four consecutive Monday nights: February 27 at 8:00 p.m.; March 6 at 8:00 p.m.; March 13 at 8:00 p.m. and March 20 at 8:00 p.m. Readings will be held at The Pasadena Playhouse, 39 S. El Molino, Pasadena. All tickets are $20 and seating is general admission. Student ticket rate is $15 and is available the night of the performance at the Box Office. Tickets to FOUR BY TENN may be purchased at The Pasadena Playhouse Box Office, 39 S El Molino Avenue, online at PasadenaPlayhouse.org or by phone at 626-356-7529.