Fools in love

By BILL RODRIGUEZ  |  May 7, 2013

There's a very funny seduction scene, the most entertaining back-and-forth of the play, as Mancini and Alvaro work deftly to get Serafina what she wants but won't admit to. "Is that a piece of poetry that you dropped out of your pocket?" she asks, referring to a condom. (That was a risky inclusion by Williams, what with prudish audiences and authorities back in 1951. The naughty bit of stage business got the play shut down in Ireland.)

Fidelity is a big issue here, since everyone in the neighborhood except Serafina knew for years that her late husband was carrying on with a bar waitress named Estelle (Laura Sorensen). Even when Serafina is told about his "putting goat horns on me," she refuses to believe.

Williams received the Tony Award for Best Play in 1951, when such a bawdy subject and presentation was the exception, even on Broadway. It's not often performed today, since it no longer packs such a scandalous punch and is overshadowed by the playwright's grander works, such as The Glass Menagerie and A Streetcar Named Desire.

But 2nd Story Theatre, by expertly mining heart and humor, shows that The Rose Tattoo will be relevant for as long as audiences are capable of falling in love and making fools of themselves.

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  Topics: Theater , Tennessee Williams, Ed Shea, Rae Mancini,  More more >
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