"A Streetcar Named Desire": Theater Review

Location Info


Actors Theatre San Francisco

855 Bush
San Francisco, CA 94108

Category: Theaters

Region: North Beach/ Chinatown


Through June 25 at Actors Theatre of San Francisco, 855 Bush (at Mason), S.F. $26-$38; 345-1287 or www.actorstheatresf.org.

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It's tempting to call this new production A Streetcar Named Desire's triumphant return to the stage. But, of course, Streetcar never really left. It's such a piece of Americana that even if you've never seen it, you know the tropes by heart, much the same way that even if you never formally learned the national anthem you still know where the high notes are. But make no mistake: The Actors Theatre production is triumphant. Not only does this taut, intense show do author Tennessee Williams justice, it also does him proud. Between superb direction and across-the-board standout performances, every one of his perfectly balanced scenes of culture clash and human frailty realizes its potential. Iconic moments like Stanley Kowalski (Vlad Sayenko) standing on a balcony shouting his wife's name over and over again ("STELLA!" — Jennifer Welch) live up to the impossible expectations half a century of performances have given us. The only reason not to see this production is if you're faint of heart: Williams wanted you to leave shaken and distressed. The Actors Theatre brings his vision to life, and leaves you stunned.

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