From Sylar to Spock to his fine turn in MARGIN CALL, Zachary Quinto has been an actor both worth watching and fun to watch. His grasp of details and his gift for making each moment count have made him a fan-favorite. Currently, Quinto is playing Tom in Tennessee Williams’ THE GLASS MENAGERIE, marking his Broadway theatrical debut. On the small stage in the intimate Booth theatre, his ability to convey inner struggles was brought to bright, shining life.
Directed by the Tony winner for ONCE, John Tiffany, this revival of Williams’ famous and moving memory play is simply and appropriately staged. There are so many human moments between Quinto and Cherry Jones (Amanda, Tom’s mother) and the brilliant Celia Keenan-Bolger (Laura, Tom’s sister). The stage design and evocative special effects lend to the dream-like state of Tom’s narrative.
Throughout the experience, the audience is bathed in warmth. There is the warmth of familiarity found in the language of the play. The characters bring about a warmth and longing for your loved ones, past and present. The warmth between the actors was so palpable that I stopped blinking. On the surface, you can find many cold moments in the play. But, led by Quinto, the cast raises love on a pedestal surrounded by abandonment and regret. It all feels so very human.
Brian J. Smith gives a fleshed out portrayal of the Gentleman Caller. As I watched his gentle scene with Laura, I pondered how I remember friends from my youth and questioned how they remember me. This play was rich laughter and the audience was ready to enjoy even the the most painful moments. As Zachary Quinto blew out the candle, bringing pitch black to the stage, the packed-out Booth erupted in applause. The lights rose to the cast of four taking in their first of two standing ovations.
My amigo, Kevin, pointed out to me that Quinto was still so deep in his final moments as Tom, that he wasn’t even really there. It was true. His eyes were locked in another moment in Tom’s mind. He was finally able to enjoy the audience recognition after he was brought-to by Cherry Jones’ loving hand. Like the candle’s flame, the past can hold your gaze and haunt you, long after its blown out.
Expect Tony nominations for this cast (and maybe another win for Cherry Jones). If you can see this show, do so. You won’t regret it.