Antaeus Theatre’s Cat on a Hot Tin Roof Review
by Bryan Scheidler
Are you tired of the endless reality TV? Do you need a break from Superhero themed television? If so, might I suggest taking in the Theatre. Last year I got the opportunity to talk with some of the talented people (Armin Shimerman, Kitty Ann Swink, Tamara Krinsky, and Tony Amendola) from the Antaeus Theatre about their kickstarter to build a permanent home. The kickstarter was successful and a new home was built in Glendale, CA. With the paint finally dry and lights hung, the Antaeus has finally kicked off their first season with the Tennessee Williams classic, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof.
Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, is a classic theatre piece. Originally written by Williams in 1955, it has been made into a feature film starring Elizabeth Taylor and Paul Newman, and twice shot for tv. The most recent version shot in 1984 starred Jessica Lange and Tommy Lee Jones. It is a show that at it’s core deals with the lies we are willing to live with in order to get what we want. If you have never seen it, understand that this isn’t a feel good musical, it is a show that forces you to confront your own relationship with the truth. It is a powerful show to watch, and the talented people of the Antaeus have put on arguably one of the finest productions of it I have ever seen. The Antaeus Theatre uses a rotating cast system for their shows, there are no understudies just two complete casts that alternate performances. The performance I saw had an amazingly talented cast but for me Linda Park, Tamara Krinsky, and Michael McShane stole the show.
Be warned, this show covers nearly the entire emotional spectrum. With a show like this that has so much complexity to the characters it is all too possible for it to feel flat, and the show put on by Antaeus was anything but flat. It is an example of masters at work, with each character being stripped bare of all pretense and exposed for who they truly are. Whether it is Linda Park’s Maggie who is constantly questioning her self worth trying to get some sign of emotion from her husband Brick, Tamara Krinksy’s Mae who puts on a positive face but burns with rage at the injustice she feels for her husband and family, or Michael McShane’s Big Daddy who unloads on his family with such brutality that the effect is unnerving this show will impact you. I know some people do not think live theatre is for them but they are wrong. Live theatre has the ability to touch you in a way that TV and film can’t come close to and in the intimate setting of the Antaeus Theatre this couldn’t be more true. If you are in the Los Angeles area do yourself a favor, go see Cat on a Hot Tin Roof while you still can, because I doubt there will be another production of this show anywhere as near powerful.
Author: Bryan Scheidler
Editor: Trisha Quezada