The Heat Is On

African-American Shakespeare Company’s production of Cat on a Hot Tin Roof excises neither “redneck” nor the n-word from the original script. Director L. Peter Callender “hasn’t changed a word,” aside from creating his own hybrid of playwright Tennessee Williams’ multiple endings. “I wanted to make sure that people don’t see this as a white Southern play,” he says. “I didn’t want to make it a black play. I think it’s a classic American play.” Spouses Maggie (ZZ Moor) and Brick (Tyrone Davis) are under close scrutiny in one of American theater’s most intense pressure cookers, and the heat isn’t just from the summer humidity on their Mississippi plantation. The family patriarch, Big Daddy (Peter Temple), is dying, and inheritances are at stake, with warring couples’ fertility as the deciding factor. Especially in the first act, says Callender, Cat is “a play about a bed — a bed that’s not used, a bed that’s a third character.” The family is at war with itself, and that, Callender says, “resonates with every race.”
Saturdays, 8 p.m.; Sundays, 3 p.m. Starts: Jan. 26. Continues through Feb. 17, 2013

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