Tennessee Williams is best known for A Streetcar Named Desire, Cat On A Hot Tin Roof and The Glass Menagerie. The queer playwright was very prolific, though, and digging into his vast cannon has proven to be quite rewarding.
Williams is currently represented on Broadway with a revival of The Glass Menagerie, but The New Ohio Theater has just mounted an off-Broadway production of a lesser-known work that proves to be a far more compelling and entertaining experience.
The Mutilated was written later in Williams' career, and it is quite different from his most iconic work. It is very funny and almost surreal. A dark comedy that is in many ways a lot like a John Waters movie. Quite fittingly, screen legend and star of many a John Waters film, Mink Stole, plays the lead role in this play. And she is just magnetic!
Her delivery of a joke is the stuff you study in school. Her comedic timing is IMPECCABLE!
And Stole is accompanied on stage by the equally iconic Penny Arcade, performance art legend and downtown diva extraordinaire.
Arcade is the yin to Stole's yang in the play. She embodies the role of the boozy broad with a wink, lots of spunk and even more cleavage!
Director Cosmin Chivu conceived a sensational production that feels like a mix tween Cabaret and Once. Chivu's staging and the inspired set design by Anka Lupes transport you to New Orleans and immerse you in the action, which also includes plenty of music.
That's right! Music!
The Mutilated is a brisk 90-minute play with songs! Thus the Cabaret and Once comparisons seem even more appropriate! The songs enhance the story, which like most Williams plays are about him. But they're really about all of us. Us outsiders. Us freaks.
What a glorious freak parade this production is! The play itself is cool and fun and this new revival is the perfect mix of uptown meets downtown. Edgy and slightly experimental meets commercial and Broadway.
It's a must-see!