Cherry’s “Glass Menagerie” Is the Pits — and Three Blind Items

Cherry's jubilee? Photo by Michael J. Lutch.
Cherry's jubilee? Photo by Michael J. Lutch.
Cherry’s jubilee? Photo by Michael J. Lutch.

Sad to report the new Broadway revival of The Glass Menagerie is not up to par. Highly touted last spring in Boston, something obviously got lost in transit around Providence. The whole thing is very workmanlike but strangely cold, unemotional and completely lacking the “tenderness and radiance” playwright Tennessee Williams stated that the play required. This is especially true of Cherry Jones. Her Amanda resembles more the Sherman Tank approach (similar to that of Katharine Hepburn) rather than the battered, fragile Southern belle of Laurette Taylor or Rosemary Harris. This Glass is best for those (whoever they are) who have never seen any previous production or film or television version. But while critics will rave (Jones never gets bad reviews — ever) audiences are and will scratch their heads and mutter: “Ho-Hum”.

Beautiful: The Carole King Musical will not have a Trip to Bountiful when it follows Horton Foote’s hit revival into the Sondheim. Reports from the rehearsal room is that it is a “Stinko!” Why, after a five-week tryout in San Francisco, followed by nearly a month of additional rehearsals, do they then need two months of previews in New York before facing the critics? So the canny producers can rip off unsuspecting theatregoers during the peak holiday season!

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Meanwhile, Mickey and Minnie are jumping for joy on 42nd Street: Aladdin sales are through the roof at the New Amsterdam. Long run at the former house of Ziegfeld assured.

Blind Item 1:
Which new musical has preview audiences exiting in droves, cursing the creators and claiming it is much, much too long? The long knives are out busily cutting but insiders agree “Too little, too late.” Or, as I say: “Stinko!”

Blind Item 2:
What stage diva is shocking friends backstage after her show by greeting them — with her entire set of dentures out?

Blind item 3:
Which diva took a summer vacation after winning a certain award last spring only to discover, upon her return, that the producers decided against renewing her contract? Seems they want to save that “raise” that goes with winning that certain award. Her replacement? The gal who stepped into her role while she was on vacation.

Now for some sad news: Theatre of the Stars in Atlanta closed Sept. 11 after 60 years. They boast they have produced Annie some 21 times in the past 30 years. Well, that explains that.

Readers: please let me know which of the new shows this season — that is, shows that opened after Aug. 1, 2013 — you call “Stinko!” No why necessary — just the title and “Stinko!” will suffice!