New Plays: Torpid Tennessee

Tennessee Williams is lying on the sickbed of his formidable talent. Ever since The Milk Train Doesn't Stop Here Anymore, his work has become increasingly infirm — so gravely so that In the Bar of a Tokyo Hotel seems more deserving of a coroner's report than a review. Nonetheless, trust in the eventual recovery of America's greatest living dramatist must be retained, even if it resembles St. Paul's definition of faith: "The substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen."

To realize the particular plight that Williams is in now,...

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