Rita Hight, Tim Kitchen, Andrew K. McGill, Gary Crocket, & Candace Kress in The Glass Mendacity. Photo by Chrystopher Paul Hancock.
The Glass Mendacity
By Maureen Morley & Tom Willmorth
Directed by Ron Johnson
Review by Brian Kennedy
Entire contents copyright © 2016 by Brian Kennedy. All rights reserved
Humorous moments nearly saved an otherwise slowly paced The Glass Mendacity.
The play, now performing at Clarksville Little Theatre, is a sendup of three of Tennessee Williams’ best known works: Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, A Streetcar Named Desire and, of course, The Glass Menagerie. Characters from all three shows, who have varying degrees of quirks, imperfections and other weaknesses, are thrown together in this show, ready to be parodied. The story features each one of these characters essentially having one story to tell but, in reality, having another. In other words, each one is involved in some kind of mendacity.
The humor comes via many references to the aforementioned plays as well as references to sweating, gentlemen callers and Maalox juleps. Rita Hight’s character Blanche, a nervous wreck (to say the least) that others plot to have committed, earns most of the play’s laughs with her over-the-top antics and dramatic posturing. Cindy Smith, as Big Amanda, also gains plenty of laughs as she nonchalantly talks about an ever-increasing number of gentlemen callers. The scene where Blanche and Amanda are on the couch talking about their situations is among the funniest in the production.
Each of the characters also muses about Brick, getting big laughs as they deal with Brick like he’s a real person when, in point-of-fact, he is played by a mannequin.
Throughout the play, each character lands the funny lines with varying degrees of success and kept the show at least somewhat entertaining throughout. There were also no major gaffes in lines.
However, the play was nearly lost due to lack of any real tension or consistency of pace, especially in the mostly unmemorable first act. All of the actors at some point seemed more concerned about hitting their marks than anything else. It was hard to feel anything good or bad for the characters or even be interested in the plot.
In the second act, Tim Kitchen’s Stanley squares off against Candace Kresse’s Maggie along with Gary Crockett’s Big Daddy, calling people out for various reasons with a delivery that did land with the amount of tension and precision required for such moments. By this time, though, it was almost too little, too late.
Thankfully, there is enough humor in the show for audiences to take away something positive. In a weekend where at least ten shows opened locally, however, it’s difficult to tell if the humor is enough for The Glass Mendacity to stand out.
The Glass Mendacity
March 11, 12, 17, 18, 19 at 8:00PM
March 13 at 2:00PM
For tickets, please call the box office at 812.283.6522
Clarksville Little Theatre
301 E. Montgomery Avenue
Brian Kennedy is a nearly life-long Louisville resident who has performed in plays since 2004. He also wrote extensively about the Louisville theatre scene for Louisville.com and Examiner.com from 2009-2015. Currently, he maintains the theatre blog LouBriantheater. When not involved in the theatre scene, he is an avid runner, participating in 5Ks throughout the state and in southern Indiana. He is also race director for the Movie Lovers 5K, which will take place in Jeffersontown in March 2016.