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Preview: Small Craft Warnings 

Tennessee Williams play set in a bar to be performed in a bar — Mag’s 940

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Photo by James Kelley

Classic Tennessee Williams plays have been a staple of the annual Tennessee Williams New Orleans Literary Festival, and in recent years, Southern Rep has staged winning productions of A Streetcar Named Desire, The Night of the Iguana and Suddenly, Last Summer. Anthony Bean Community Theater staged an adapted version of The Glass Menagerie in April. But Williams' lesser-known works, including some rougher, gloomier and more challenging stories, have been getting attention as well. The Contemporary Arts Center recently mounted Williams' comedy, The Mutilated, which bombed when it debuted on Broadway.   The Tennessee Williams Theatre Company of New Orleans presented its first production in July, the rarely produced Kingdom of Earth (aka The Seven Descents of Myrtle). The company is presenting its second production, Small Craft Warnings, as an immersive experience in a bar, which is fitting since the drama takes place in a southern California bar, where a somewhat random collection of characters is stuck during bad weather. Written in 1972, the piece has been described as more of an interwoven series of monologues than a play, as its characters wrestle with desire and fading aspirations. They include a bitter beautician named Leona (LaKesha Glover), her current lover Bill (Matt Madden), Doc (Robert Alan Mitchell), a drunken doctor who's settled into a seedy, illegal practice, Monk (James Wright), the bartender, Quentin (Bob Edes Jr.), an over-the-hill screenwriter, and others. The audience can drink along with them as they bare their troubled souls.


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