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Cat on a Hot Tin Roof 

More Little Bo Peep than bristling feline

Wednesday, Nov 2 2005
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In Tennessee Williams' Pulitzer Prize-winning play, Maggie, the American theater canon's most desperate housewife, tries to persuade her depressed and frigid husband, Brick, to pull himself out of his drunken stupor long enough to impregnate her, thus strengthening the couple's claim on the massive Mississippi Delta plantation belonging to Brick's ailing father, Big Daddy Pollitt. If Israel Hicks' solid and staid production for ACT conveys any of the dangerous animal energy of Williams' 1950s-era drama, it's in Jack Willis' brilliant, ballistic performance as the family patriarch, Big Daddy. A rutting stag crossed with an oversize teddy bear, Willis just has to bark the word "Crap!" and the chandeliers shake. René Augesen's Maggie and Michael James Reed's Brick seem flaccid in comparison. Fluttering onstage in a frilly frock and golden locks, Augesen is more Little Bo Peep than bristling feline. She mostly behaves as though she's lost her sheep, not her lover.

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Chloe Veltman

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