Review by Kim Murphey
March 9 was the opening night for the play Cat on a Hot Tin Roof by Tennessee Williams. This play is the 1974 revised version dealing with family characters and their sexuality, death, greed and alcoholism, all taking place on the night of Big Daddy’s 65th birthday party.
It’s been many years since I’ve seen the 1958 movie version of Cat on a Hot Tin Roof that starred Elizabeth Taylor and Paul Newman, so my recollections were hazy at best as to the differences between the two versions. Today there are many things that are ok to talk about openly and language that is tolerated now that would not have been in the 50’s, so it was obvious as I watched the play what the differences were between the two. Listening to my fellow seat mates discuss their opinions of the changes during the intermissions was also interesting when comparing a classic done in a different way.
This play features Charles Seibert* as Big Daddy, Jenifer Cote as Maggie, Clint Campbell as Brick, Kate Brikley* as Big Mama, Tice Allison as Grooper, and Beth Deitchman as Mae.
Jenifer Cote as Maggie seems to have the lions share of the lines throughout the play, especially in the first scene where she is basically carrying on a conversation with herself as her husband Brick is working on getting drunk and not listening to her much. As the play progresses, other family members enter and leave the conversation as we come to understand the dynamics of this big southern family. They are all dealing with their own various disappointment in life as they digest the information that the family patriarch Big Daddy is dying and how the estate may or may not be divided when he passes.
Charles Siebert, who is a famous theater, movie and TV star and director, plays Big Daddy. He is perfect for this role with his commanding voice and dominating presence. I could easily imagine him running a Southern plantation and this family. I thoroughly enjoyed his character and the whole play.
*This actor appears through the courtesy of Actor’s Equity Association, the Union of Professional Actors and Stage Managers in the U.S.
6th Street Playhouse
Directed by Michael Fontaine.
For Mature Audiences
March 9-25, 2012
Tickets between $15-$32
Historical Railroad Square in Downtown Santa Rosa.
Tickets provided in exchange for review