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May 22, 2007 > Broadway West's "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof" Review

Broadway West's "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof" Review

By Charlotte Hill

Rarely does the opportunity arise to watch a play so sincerely touching as "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof," performed locally by the Broadway West Theatre Company. Tennessee Williams, the talented playwright of the Pulitzer Prize-winning drama, has fashioned a world much like our own, where profoundly lonesome characters attempt to repair the broken bonds of their strained relationships.

Maggie (Karene Daugherty) struggles with an ever-increasing estrangement from her alcoholic husband Brick (Matthew Vierling). Big Mama (Mary Galde) refuses to acknowledge the impending death of sixty-five year-old, no-nonsense Big Daddy (Ross Arden Harkness). Meanwhile, Mae and Gooper (Dawn E. Cates and Daniel Cooper), ever the opportunist couple, hope to acquire Big Daddy's millions through any means necessary.

Daugherty dominates the stage as Maggie, only occasionally exposing the desperate vulnerability beneath her tough exterior. Vierling's portrayal of the tormented Brick gains momentum throughout the play, culminating in a heartrending confession to his father. But special praise goes to Harkness, whose portrayal of the brusque yet tender Big Daddy drives the second and third acts with his poignant realization that "a man can't buy his life back."

Stage veterans Larry Voellger, Spencer Stevenson, and Kyle Smith, along with young newcomers Karina Simpson and Zach Laird, complete the talented cast. Director Paula Chenoweth elicits impeccable performances from her actors, along with the help of assistant director Craig Smith and the lighting and sound crews. A beautiful set, designed by Chenoweth and created by the gifted Greg Small, adds to the play's rustic southern atmosphere.

"Cat on a Hot Tin Roof"
May 19 - June 10
Broadway West Theatre Company
4000-B Bay Street, Fremont
(510) 683-9218

Tickets can be purchased at the box office.
General $20; students and seniors $15; Thurs. performances $15

Thurs.-Sat. at 8 p.m. (refreshments included)
Sun., May 27 and June 3 at 1 p.m. (brunch included at 12:15 p.m.)
Sun., June 10 at 1 p.m. (brunch included during intermission)

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