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Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Carte Blanche’s Intimate ‘Streetcar Named Desire’

Theater Review

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The domestic drama of Tennessee Williams’ classic A Streetcar Named Desire has an explosive intensity in Carte Blanche’s intimate studio environment. This is a Streetcar that billows with cigarette smoke and bursts with sudden anger.

Katrina Greguska renders multiple layers of complexity to the role of fading Southern belle Blanche. As Blanche’s sister Stella, Samantha Paige adds considerable depth to Greguska’s performance. Paige’s brilliantly grounded performance balances Blanche’s over-the-top intensity. Clayton Hamburg gives aggressive confidence to Stella’s husband, Stanley, who comes across as a semi-civilized animal. Hamburg’s articulation of Stanley’s anger leaps off the stage in such an intimate space. The small studio also aids in amplifying the intense subtlety of the drama. As Mitch, a clever Michael Traynor displays awkward nervousness in his attempted flirtations with Blanche.

Carte Blanche’s production of A Streetcar Named Desire runs through May 8.