The Demolition Downtown/The Municipal Abaittoirby Tennessee Williams
directed by Emilie Slaby
The Demolition Downtown, first published in Esquire in June 1971, is a comedy of smug upper-class suburbanites (with rhyming names) trying to maintain their privileges as America turns apocalyptic, is eerily connected to our own time by its subtitle: Count Ten in Arabic--and Try to Run. Husbands huddle with their wives as explosions rock the inner city and Catholic schoolchildren (upstairs) sing the words to a revolutionary march. The desperate rich wives project Williams’ own fantasies that Che and Fidel were hot. Jay Scheib’s production, which Emilie Slaby has adapted, takes the concepts of TW’s play and translates them into multi-media.
The Municipal Abattoir, a much earlier play, is mentioned in The Demolition Downtown. The abattoir presents the ultimate submission to the STATE. Just as Joseph McCarthy shadows Camino Real, the mythology of the Cold War looms behind these two plays.