Blasblog: Taking A Night Off From the Nightlife
Although I was nominated for a Paper Magazine Nightlife Award—for best nightlife blog, thank you very much!—I had a pretty good excuse for missing the awards ceremony last night: orchestra seats to the Sydney Theatre Company’s production of Tennessee Williams’ A Streetcar Named Desire at BAM, starring the incredible Cate Blanchett as Blanche DuBois. Since Williams spent some of his formative years in St. Louis, Missouri, where I spent all of mine, I’ve had a mild obsession with the playwright since I was a young man. I’ve read all his plays and see every revival when they come to town. (When Ashley Judd took to Broadway a few years back in Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, I saw it twice.)
Not to get all Brooks Atkinson on you, but without a doubt, Blanchett’s performances was one of the most dynamic I’ve seen on any stage, in any Williams play. Her Blanche was eloquent, mad, and pathetic—and funny, punching up an aspect of the play that often gets lost in more dour productions. (The woman’s a comedian, too? What can’t she do?)
Joining me in the audience was Sienna Miller, who had just finished her own run on Broadway in the title role of After Miss Julie. Admitting she was secretly pleased to not have to do two performances that day, she added that she was just as blown away by Blanchett’s performance as I was. “One day, I hope to be up there too, as good as she is,” she said. “But right now I’m telling myself I’m just too young.”
And apparently I didn’t win that Paper award, anyway.
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