Tennesse Williams, one of the 20th century's most superb writers, was also one of its most successful and prolifts. His classic works include Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, A Glass Menagerie, Summer and Smoke, Camino Real, Sweet Bird of Youth, Night of the Iguanna, Orpheus Descending, and The Rose Tattoo.
Williams's classic play begins with Blanche DuBois's arrival in New Orleans to stay with her sister and brother-in-law, Stella and Stanley Kowalski. The determinedly genteel Blanche is shocked by their lower-class lifestyle and by Stanley's frequently aggressive behavior. As Blanche's secrets catch up with her, a seedy reality trumps her love for romance. Rosemary Harris embodies Blanche with all the flare, attitude and Southern drawl commonly associated with the cultural icon. The role of Stanley is so physical that his presence is diminished by the lack of a visual performance, but James Farentino's Stanley is excellent. The overall production quality is excellent with musical segues and sound effects that enhance without distracting the listeners. This recording captures the cast of the 1973 Broadway revival (which won Harris a Drama Desk award and Farentino a Theatre World award).