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A Street Car Named Desire

Tennessee Willimas Festival, 2018

Judith Newmark – St. Louis Post-Dispatch/JJ Awards

With all the excitement around the Muny’s centennial season, it’s taken too long to get around to the May edition of the JJ Awards — the monthly mini-version of my annual Judy Awards for outstanding work on (or behind) stages here. Let’s fix that right now.

Director Tim Ocel • His production of “A Streetcar Named Desire” gave Tennessee Williams Festival St. Louis exactly what it needs: a mainstage production astute enough for theater veterans and clear enough for newcomers, rich enough to celebrate the playwright’s distinctive American voice.

Ocel let us savor superb performances small (Amy Loui as a kind landlady) and large (Sophia Brown as the desperate Blanche DuBois) as his “Streetcar” raced across the Grandel Theatre stage like a bullet train, reaching the speed of life. This was the show that the 3-year-old festival has promised to deliver from the start.

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