Tennessee Williams' first successful play, The Glass Menagerie, is a St. Louis-centric drama. The setting is St. Louis, the plot is loosely based on Williams' own youth in our fair city, and the theme of tremulous optimism and dashed hopes is, like it or not, a fair summation of many of St. Louis' citizens and institutions. The Wingfield family, with its absent father and hard-working and desperate mother Amanda, struggles to maintain a façade of normalcy that can never truly conceal the family's growing fissures. Daughter Laura has a disfigured foot and an unhealthy obsession with her imaginary world of glass animals; Amanda plots to marry her off and secure the family's future, while brother Tom resents having to support these damaged people whom he may love but can't like. A poignant and trenchant journey to the dream worlds we build to deceive ourselves, Williams' first masterpiece still packs a wallop. The Kirkwood Theatre Guild presents The Glass Menagerie at 8 p.m. Thursday through Saturday (January 15 through 23), with a single matinee at 2 p.m. Sunday, January 17, at the Robert G. Reim Theatre (111 South Geyer Road, Kirkwood; 314-821-9956 or www.ktg-onstage.org). Tickets are $16.
Thursdays-Saturdays; Sun., Jan. 17. Starts: Jan. 15. Continues through Jan. 23, 2010