… two great productions … (lucky playwright!)
In the Wooster Group’s visceral production of Williams’ Vieux Carre, a writer/narrator allows his memory to transport him to the past, and to a run-down boarding house in New Orleans’ French Quarter in the 1930’s. Why this place at this time? Because it’s the site of his coming of age recognition of his homosexual nature. But he’s not alone here: the place is crowded with other tenants who, in their different ways, take part in the drama of his self-recognition. His memory brings to life their passions and agonies as well as his own. There are two proud, old southern ladies who scavenge garbage pails to stay alive, the “rapacious”, tubercular old artist coughing into his handkerchief, the young woman from the north whose particular pain we learn of late in the play, her stud man, the landlady, the maid, and the young drifter who becomes the writer’s ticket to a free life.