takes on a whole new rhythm as "A Streetcar Named Desire" by
Tennessee Williams sizzles across the pond from its popular run at
Broadway's Broadhurst Theatre to a stage in London's West End soon. Directed by
Emily Mann, this hot new take on the Pulitzer Prize-winning
masterpiece stars Blair Underwood in his Broadway debut as Stanley
Kowalski and Nicole Ari Parker as Blanche DuBois. The original score
by 5-time Grammy Award winner Terence Blanchard adds the New Orleans
heat to Williams's enduring portrait of sex, class and family
secrets in the Vieux Carre.
Williams wrote the play in a French Quarter apartment at 632 St.
Peter Street. He went through several endings and titles, including
"Blanche's Chair in the Moon" and "The Poker Night," before he
finished the play that opened on December 3, 1947, in New York to
immediate critical acclaim and popular success. In a letter by
Williams to his friend James Laughlin on the following day, the
playwright said he had "never witnessed such an exciting evening"
concluding in "an uproar of applause which went on and on."
As he wrote the play in the apartment on St. Peter, Williams could
hear the "rattletrap streetcar named Desire" as it navigated the
Quarter "up one old narrow street and down another." Another car
named Cemeteries ran along Canal Street six blocks away. The
playwright said the intersecting pathways of the two cars named
Desire and Cemeteries "seemed to me an ideal metaphor for the human
For decades, audiences around the world have responded to "A
Streetcar Named Desire" as the definitive stage depiction of the
human condition. Now the producers of a trailblazing 2008 Broadway
production of Williams's "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof" and a brilliant
cast continue the legacy of "Streetcar" with their own take on an
Birthplace of Tennessee Williams, now the Columbus Welcome
Center, Columbus, Ms.
An angel statue in the Tennessee Williams Park, Clarksdale,
Tennessee Williams and the South, by Kenneth Holditch
and Richard Freeman Leavitt.
The Selected Letters of Tennessee Williams, Volume II, 1945
-1957, edited by Albert J. Devlin and co-edited by Nancy M.
Page images and text by permission of aka and Springer
Associates, New York City. 2012 Streetcar on Broadway, all