Posted at 5 p.m. Nov. 9, 2016
Period piece immerses audience
Jessey Govig (left) plays the part of gentleman caller and Michelle Barlow (right) plays Laura in a dress rehearsal of the Glass Menagerie.
Depart into Tennessee William’s play of escapism and conflict of ideals based on past, present and future in “The Glass Menagerie.”
The Glass Menagerie’s set design immerses the audience into the Wingfield living room. The three-quarter round stage complements Christian Borgaard’s character Tom during his monologues where Tom not only breaks the fourth wall, but interacts through the physical space of the place while talking to the audience.
The inclusion of a terrace where the windows are designed as dreamlike as the play itself is a clever inclusion which the characters seek escape from the turmoil of the play’s events. I anticipated and enjoyed the monologues and dialogues that occurred on the terrace.
Costumes for the cast are believable for the period piece. I forgot that I was watching a play with how immersive the costumes made the play feel, like I was watching an event from the during the great depression. Patrica Marino’s dress in act two is a dazzling showstopper.
Christian Borgaard displays his acting range in his portrayal of Tom Wingfield. From offhand dry humor, disdain and rage, Borgaard displays Tom’s conflicting duty to others and his boiling duty to self.
Patrica Marino’s portrays Amanda Wingfield effortlessly. Marino gives justice to Amanda’s character when she delivers her lines, whether they are kindhearted, chastising, or fierce. Marino handles the complexities of Amanda. At times, Marino’s character is the most impressive when it comes to stage presence. Marino is the perfect actor for Amanda. Marino seems like she was made for the role.
Michelle Barlow’s portrayal of Laura Wingfield communicates the character’s bashfulness, heartache and kindness extravagantly through her vocal presence as well as her facial expressions. The sympathetic Laura is the heart of the story and gives the play it’s emotional weight.
Jessey Govig balances the gentleman caller, O’Connor’s interactions with the other characters fluidly. Govig’s truthfulness in his portrayal of the down-to-earth yet not entirely transparent O’Connor throughout the play is believable through each scene. Govig’s performance felt like it could have been improved on if his line delivery and blocking were more fluid. I reviewed the play during dress rehearsal, and I’d like to give Govig’s performance the benefit of the doubt.
I enjoy Tennessee William’s plays in general. The common theme of escapism encapsulates his plays and I think that gives them relevance in any setting. By proxy, Laramie County Community College’s take on “The Glass Menagerie” is the first time I’ve seen the play done live. As my first exposure to a live performance of the play I felt that the play was done justice from the actors, set designers and director. The play brought me to the period of the great depression, invested me into the characters and their struggles and left me entertained throughout.
Jason Pasqua’s direction of Menagerie rises to the challenge of straying from the Playhouse’s contemporary plays while still relating them effectively to today’s audience. I look forward to seeing other contemporary plays in LCCC’s Playhouse in the future.