A Lovely Sunday For Creve Coeurby Tennessee Williams
When four eccentric, unforgettable women end up together under one roof in St. Louis in the mid-1930s, high hopes meet with a creeping loneliness, and dashed plans mix uneasily with irrepressible dreams.
directed by Jef Hall-Flavin
Gremlin TheatreSt. Paul, MN
"Sweet, honest, compassionate, different and totally enjoyable"
— Clive Barnes, New York Post
About the Play
This enchanting comedy by Williams, first produced in 1979, shows us a circle of women friends set on protecting each other from disappointment in a West End efficiency apartment in St. Louis.
Each of the women, especially the deluded Dotty Gallaway, are capable of flight, "but perch themselves like pigeons waiting 'for a moment in this absolute desolation' for life to begin."
Suffering from a 'Southern belle complex,' Dotty must confront her assumption that T. Ralph Ellis, a society gentleman who took advantage of her in the back of his REO sedan, has any intentions of marrying her.
Dotty sits stuck between three well-meaning women: Bodey, the boisterous German roommate who tries to set Dotty up with her twin brother on a picnic at Creve Coeur Lake, Helena, the socialite who has 'the eyes of a predatory bird,' and poor Sophie Gluck, the grief-stricken cruller-eating German-speaking girl from upstairs.
This 1979 text heralds Williams's return to the pleasing lyric cadences of his earlier writing: full of grace and humor, and very different from the broken rhythms of his other late writings. The play's scenario became the basis for the highly successful TV series The Golden Girls in the 1980s.
About the Production
A Lovely Sunday for Creve Coeur comes to the Festival from Gremlin Theatre in St. Paul, Minnesota. The original production, which ran in March 2014, received attention for its unusually intimate staging within the walls of a real house.
The Pioneer Press deemed the production
"eloquent and affecting... [a] rewarding evening at the theatre"
and the Twin Cities Daily Planet praised the actors'
"perfect timing [and] Midwestern clarity," calling it
"a solid piece by Gremlin not to miss."
The Festival's staging retains this site-specific, limited-audience approach, transforming the residential 175 Bradford into the living quarters in the play, where Bodey's preparations for her picnic at Creve Coeur include frying chicken and making deviled eggs.
Gremlin Theatre returns to Provincetown following their world-premiere Festival production of The Enemy: Time in 2009. The actor Sally Ann Wright, who played Mrs. Gibbs in that production, now returns in the role of Bodey.