One of Tennessee Williams' most accomplished (and least appreciated) plays is the last one he wrote, Vieux Carre. It's worth reading just to experience Williams characterize himself as a young man, living in New Orleans, encountering the human wrecks he would glorify in his immortal Streetcar.
A month or so ago Hilton Als of The New Yorker gave a Manhattan production a spectacularly insightful review. Unfortunately, The New Yorker site has taken an anti-blogger attitude that routinely excludes those of us — even subscribers — who would admire and link to these sort of pieces. Here's the one passage from their on-line "abstract" of the review that survived an incredibly brutal editing:
Here [the Williams character, as an old man] is called the Nightingale,
and he is an openly gay quick-sketch artist, rueful and warm. He quiets
the Writer’s hysterics and tries to inspire in him what Blanche Dubois
called “the opposite” of death.
Intriguing, no? Wish I could quote more. Als himself quotes at length from the gorgeous play, focusing on the back-and-forth between the ruthless Nightingale and the idealistic Writer. Fascinating stuff.
And here's the playbill image from the Pearl Theater, which put it on…had I been within a hundred miles, I would have gone myself, but 3000 is a bit too far…