Theatre Review: “Cat On A Hot Tin Roof”
A family reacts in secret to their patriarch’s terminal illness in this emotionally charged performance of Cat On A Hot Tin Roof – one of the Firehouse Theatre Project’s offerings in this season’s Tennessee Williams Centennial Celebration.
Directed by Rusty Wilson and brings Act One to life with Maggie “The Cat” and her aloof, scotch-soaked, husband, Brick Politt.
Laine Satterfield gave an inspiring performance as Maggie, keeping the character charming and captivating, with incredible comedic timing, referring to her nieces and nephews as “no neck monsters.”
While the first act consists mainly of Maggie talking at her husband, Brick — Satterfield has the audience’s full attention at all times and is a joy to watch. She brings just enough sex appeal without being vulgar delivers on the angst felt over her handsome, athletic, husband’s lack of libido.
While Adrian Rieder’s Brick took a while to develop, it is Act Two, where the actor shines during a conversation with patriarch “Big Daddy” Pollitt.
Alan Sader and Jacqueline Jones command every scene while portray a booming “Big Daddy” and silly, oblivious “Big Mama” respectively. Jones’ Big Mama is incredibly charismatic genuinely likable. She is a classic Williams’ woman in that she is incredibly troubled and very strong at the same time, much like Maggie — both characters have to put on a brave face to the outside world, but while at home they are often subjected to indifference and borderline cruelty by their macho spouses.
Set design was very period and location appropriate, as the play is set on the Mississippi Delta in the 1950s — although, a little more opulence in the furniture could be afforded, as we later find out that Big Daddy Politt is worth about ten million dollars.
Costume design by Heather Hogg is convincing. Big Mama’s costume highlighted her character, as the wife of a wealthy business man, her jewelry caught the stage lights perfectly. When Big Daddy refers to Big Mama as “dripping in diamonds,” we see and believe it.
This amazing interpretation of the classic is a worthy offering to celebrate the life of the renowned American playwright.
Cat On A Hot Tin Roof plays The Firehouse Theatre, 1609 W. Broad St., through October 8. For tickets and showtimes, visit http://www.firehousetheatre.org/. For more information on the Tennessee Williams Centennial Celebration, visit here.
Jen Maciulewicz is theatre critic for GAYRVA.com and is a Richmond local. Jen attended VCU and holds a B.S. in Anthropology. She has starred as Reno Sweeney in Cole Porter’s “Anything Goes" and attended VCU’s School of Music. Follow Jen on Twitter at www.twitter.com/jenlaumac.
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