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Sweet Bird of Youth / The Rose Tattoo / The Night of the Iguana (1976)
by Tennessee Williams
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-Sweet Bird of Youth-
A wonderful play that depicts the hopeful nature of the human spirit, even when the body has fallen beyond willing and reputation is at an all-time low. The Princess Kosmonopolis is a dazzling character, showing a marvelous transition from the depths of dispair to the glory of being on top. On the whole, uplifting and thouroughly wonderful.
-The Rose Tattoo-
Another Williams Masterpiece. A study of one widow's struggle to find passion in a world that doesn't tolerate her fanaticism. The character's struggle is rife with hypocrisy, heartbreak, and hilarity as she lives her life with an over-passionate sense of drama. Beautiful.
-The Night of the Iguana-
I found this piece to fall into the same category as "The Glass Menagerie," in that it showed the potential for primal, sweaty sexiness, but instead used that tension to contrast a gentle purity between two friends. Lives fall apart; the miserable are kicked while down; and in the midst of it all we see a kind of beauty that could rarely exist. A thriving play full of harshness and tenderness.
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Tennessee Williams was born in 1911 in Columbus, Mississippi, where his grandfather was the episcopal clergyman. When his father, a travelling salesman, moved with his family to St Louis some years later, both he and his sister found it impossible to settle down to city life. He entered college during the Depression and left after a couple of years to take a clerical job in a shoe company. He stayed there for two years, spending the evening writing. He entered the University of Iowa in 1938 and completed his course, at the same time holding a large number of part-time jobs of great diversity. He received a Rockefeller Fellowship in 1940 for his play Battle of Angels, and he won the Pulitzer Prize in 1948 and 1955. Among his many other plays Penguin have published Summer and Smoke (1948), The Rose Tattoo (1951), Camino Real (1953), Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (1955), Baby Doll (1957), Orpheus Descending (1957), Something Unspoken (1958), Suddenly Last Summer (1958), Period of Adjustment (1960), The Night of the Iguana (1961), The Milk Train Doesn't Stop Here Anymore (1963), and Small Craft Warnings (1972). Tennessee Williams died in 1983.
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Melvil Decimal System (DDC)812.54Literature English (North America) American drama 20th Century
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I actually had no intention of reading "The Night of the Iguana" because I was sure the story-line of the defrocked priest was going to offend me (but my teacher assured me that it wouldn't [and since it wasn't a Catholic priest I also didn't care so much about his being defrocked].) I ended up absolutely *loving* this play! It was touching and funny and sad and I really had hopes for a better ending for the characters (the ending in no way was a disappointment, you just end up hoping for better for the characters). It was amazing.
"Sweet Bird of Youth" ended up being the same way ... It's, like, you could see where the play was headed and you wished for better for the characters. You are shown so little about the characters and yet you really end up attaching yourself to them. It's really amazing, how Tennessee Williams can create such vidid characters, that you really care about, in such a short time ....
Adrianne ( )