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Cygnet makes classic ‘Glass Menagerie’ new again

(Anne Marie Welsh, San Diego Union-Tribune) If you think you’ve seen enough of “The Glass Menagerie,” Tennessee Williams’ first success and most-performed play, think again. Now in a vivid staging directed by Sean Murray for his Cygnet Theatre, this is the kind of revival that makes you look at that long-familiar from a new perspective.

Murray cuts against the sentimentality of so many productions by highlighting the comedy and irony always there in Williams’ script, but now and again he distances the family drama in ways that prove merely distracting.

Cast with four expert San Diego actors, the production’s chief strength is Rosina Reynolds’ multifaceted interpretation of Amanda Wingfield, the exasperating mother and faded Southern belle, whose hectoring of her two children smothers her shy daughter Laura and drives Williams’ surrogate, Tom, away for good.