Thursday, October 30, 2014
TENNESSEE WILLIAMS by John Lahr AUDIO EDITION
TENNESSEE WILLIAMS AUDIO EDITION
By John Lahr; Performed by Elizabeth Ashley
There could not be a more capable or convincing actress than Tony Award winning Elizabeth Ashley to narrate this seminal biography. She has appeared in 14 plays by Tennessee Williams including the unforgettable 1974 Broadway production of Cat On A Hot Tin Roof. Her performance of this book merits another award.
Many words have been written about Williams but surely none as kind or as perceptive as those of John Lahr. The author of 17 books and the New Yorker’s senior drama critic for 20 years Lahr offers not only intimate details of the playwright’s life but access to his mind as found in diaries, letters, memoirs, interviews, theater history and unpublished manuscripts. It is not easy listening as we learn of the fear, self-doubt and paranoia that tormented Williams, eventually driving him to addictions to alcohol and narcotics.
Missives from Williams’s long-time agent, Audrey Wood are especially riveting as are descriptions of his collaboration with film director Elia Kazan. Quite simply this is a stellar biography shedding new light on the life and work of a great playwright beautifully read by an accomplished actress.
- Gail Cooke