Now the Cats with Jeweled Claws & Other One-Act Plays

New Directions. Jul. 2016. 184p. ed. by Thomas Keith. ISBN 9780811225564. pap. $17.95; ebk. ISBN 9780811225571. THEATER
OrangeReviewStarSomeone, somewhere, had this (or something like it) to say about Beethoven: "The Fifth Symphony was the work of a genius. 'Wellington's Victory' was the work of a man who had to pay the rent." A similar feeling will result from reading through this volume of what's described on the back cover as "fantastic, lesser-known one-acts," as well as "most potent, witty and wild late plays." Well, no. The ten plays included here, dating from the last decade of his life, do nothing to increase the illumination that is the bright, shining light of Tennessee Williams (1911–83). They read like cheap Edward Albee or Samuel Beckett, or worse. The short pieces might do as student acting exercises (the longest of them would take under 20 minutes to perform; the casts allow for much doubling) or serve as additional texts in graduate-level American lit courses.
VERDICT Only for completists; not an essential purchase.
Comment Policy:
  • Be respectful, and do not attack the author, people mentioned in the article, or other commenters. Take on the idea, not the messenger.
  • Don't use obscene, profane, or vulgar language.
  • Stay on point. Comments that stray from the topic at hand may be deleted.
  • Comments may be republished in print, online, or other forms of media.
  • If you see something objectionable, please let us know. Once a comment has been flagged, a staff member will investigate.



We are currently offering this content for free. Sign up now to activate your personal profile, where you can save articles for future viewing