PARK SLOPE — Big Daddy and Maggie the Cat are coming to Brooklyn in a provocative new production of “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof,” the iconic American play by Tennessee Williams. Performed by the Gallery Players and directed by Owen Thompson, the show offers a dynamic new vision of the captivating Pulitzer Prize winning classic.
“Blood pounds through the veins of this play as powerfully as any I can think of, and Tennessee Williams gives us some of his most vibrant characters with the matchless lyricism that made him — in my opinion — the greatest American playwright,” Thompson told this paper.
Audiences will meet Maggie the Cat, the sensual, spirited wife of the tortured, ex-football hero Bric Pollitt, as well as the unforgettable Big Daddy, whose birthday the family has gathered to celebrate, despite the dark secrets that swirl around him.
Sex, greed, and drama fill the sultry plantation air as family members will stop at nothing to control the ailing Big Daddy’s cotton kingdom. The cast includes veterans of Broadway and local actors performing in the scorching, hard-hitting drama from one of the 20th century’s greatest playwrights.
Amanda McCallum explained what inspired her to play the role of Maggie. “Maggie is one of the greatest creations ever written for the stage,” said McCallum. “It’s a dream role for actresses. I’ve never seen the movie or the play. I am familiar with the movie poster that has Elizabeth Taylor in the iconic white slip though; that’s inspiration right there,” she added.
“What director wouldn’t want to get their hands on a play by Mr. Williams at the height of his powers? And considering this play in 2019, one is struck by a new resonance,” said Thompson. “The suffocating atmosphere of mendacity that poisons 1955 Mississippi in ‘Cat’ — a society built on slavery by white people blind to their privilege and who pathologically lie to themselves and each other — feels uncomfortably like the America in which we currently find ourselves.”
“Cat on a Hot Tin Roof” was originally presented on Broadway at the Morosco Theatre in New York, opening on March 24, 1955. Over the years the play has been edited and adapted by Williams several times. The Gallery Players production follows the authorized, definitive version of the play as revised by Williams for the 1974 Broadway revival.
“Playgoers who come to our production will experience one that embraces Mr. Williams’ rhapsodic tenderness without shying away from his lacerating view of what human beings are capable of at their lowest, his exploration of, as Mr. Williams himself put it, ‘the shocking duality of the human heart,’” Thompson added.
The play opens Saturday, Oct. 26 and runs for 12 performances through Sunday, Nov. 10. Performances are Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays at 8 p.m., Saturdays (November 2 and 9) at 2 p.m., and Sundays at 3 p.m. There will be an artist talk-back following the Sunday, Nov. 3 performance.
The Gallery Players is located at 199 14th Street (between 4th and 5th Avenues), in Park Slope, Brooklyn. Take the F, G, or R train to 4th Avenue / 9th Street. Website: http://galleryplayers.com.
Tickets are $25 for adults and $20 for seniors over 65 and children under 12. Tickets can be purchased online at galleryplayers.com or by calling Ovationtix at 212-352-3101.