Tennessee Williams - who brought us Blanche DuBois, and therefore Marlon Brando yelling about Blanche DuBois in a rain-soaked t-shirt (thank you, silver screen) - is celebrating his 100th birthday. Or would be, if he was still alive. Since he's not, Aurora Theatre in Berkeley is doing it for him, by staging a production of The Eccentricities of a Nightingale, a haunting and rarely-produced play about a lonely woman living in pre-World War I Mississippi.
Taunted by unrequited love, Alma Winemiller’s unconventional cravings are stifled by an unstable mother and a Puritanical father. Consoling herself with her music and the wild boy-turned-doctor-next-door, Alma is a less iconic character than Blanche, but every bit as majestic. Written in the lovely, lyrical style that made him one of the most revered playwrights in the canon, Williams spent 25 years revising The Eccentricities of the Nightingale. First drafted in 1951, it didn’t debut on Broadway until 1976. Garnering raves from local critics (“a stunning revival” says Bay Area News Group and given the highest recommendation by KGO Radio), this gorgeous and poetic play is worth the trip to Berkeley.
Through May 8. Aurora Theatre Company, Tickets are $10-55 at 510-843-4822 or auroratheatre.org.