Tamara’s play TENNESSEE IN THE SUMMER has its first review. The LA Times has given it a glowing review. See below with source credited. More below the cut:
Review: Tamara Braun in intimate ‘Tennessee in the Summer’
By Margaret Gray
April 18, 2012, 2:10 p.m.
If you’ve been struggling to dissuade your child from becoming a playwright, here’s an easy fix: Take the theatrically inclined scribbler to the Sidewalk Studio Theatre to see “Tennessee in the Summer,” Joe Besecker’s nightmarish portrait of the late-career Tennessee Williams, sweating, reminiscing, drinking and gulping Seconal pills in a New York City hotel room.
Besecker’s conceit is that Williams (the great Jack Heller) had an inner child — actually a young blond woman in a slip, played here by the slinky, sloe-eyed soap opera star Tamara Braun. As the lights come up, Williams hunches over his typewriter, surrounded by balled-up pages, while the blond sprawls on the bed, complaining of boredom and taunting Williams about his “recent string of box-office flops.” Eventually she lures a hustler (Robert Standley) into the room, effectively ending the workday.
“Woman,” as she is listed in the program, owes a great deal to Williams’ female characters, particularly Maggie in “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof” and Blanche in “A Streetcar Named Desire.” But she’s also a persuasive embodiment of that inner voice that can make the most successful existence an inescapable hell. At times her mockery becomes so vicious that I was tempted to grab a Seconal for myself. (The 33-seat space is very intimate. I essentially participated in the steamy sex scenes, staged fearlessly by director Sal Romeo.) But she can also be sympathetic, even loving, and in the most wrenching scene, when Williams’ brother Dakin (Standley again) tricks him into committing himself, she suffers alongside him.
Woman forces Williams to relive painful incidents from his past: encounters with his adored schizophrenic sister, Rose (Louise Davis), and pivotal moments in his 14-year romance with the muscular Frankie Merlo (Standley yet again). Davis is chilling as the mad, impish Rose, and also performs an unforgettable monologue as Williams’s equally crazy and far meaner mother, Edwina. The character of Frankie is the least well written, almost mawkish, and the point of his scenes seems to be to present Williams’ selfish, cruel side.
So vividly does this play depict a great writer’s misbehavior, isolation, terror and misery that even the most stage-struck youth in the audience is bound to fill out that law school application you brought along just in case.
Off to a good start. I’ve been combing the internet for any other reviews for the play. I’m so happy Tamara is getting good notices. As I’ve said before I’d kill to see this. There are three actors I’d love to see on stage, one of them is Tamara. The other two are David Strathairn who garnered himself an Oscar Nomination for his role as Edward R. Murrow in George Clooney’s Good Night And Good Luck and who is returning for season two of the SyFy channel’s breatkout series Alphas and the other is Keir Dullea who I’ve created a site for and who starred as astronaut Dave Bowman in Stanley Kubrick’s amazing work of art 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY. Keir founded a theatre group with his late wife, Susie, for helping talent both young and old to hone their crafts with script-in-hand readings of various plays. I’d love to see either of these three in something before I keel over. That would be the dream at least.