It got a rave from Ben Brantley and the cast is mouth-watering. But could American Repertory Theater's production of Tennessee Williams' The Glass Menagerie – directed by Tony Award winner John Tiffany (Once) and starring two-time Tony winner Cherry Jones (Doubt), Theater World Award winner Zachary Quinto (Angels in America), Tony nominee Celia Keenan-Bolger (Peter and the Starcatcher), and Brian J. Smith (The Columnist) – actually transfer to Broadway? Will it be this season? Where could it go?
Those are the questions. Here is the speculation.
In an article published February 19, The New York Times theater beat reporter Patrick Healy revealed that many "theater producers and investors," including producer Jeffrey Richards (who transferred ART's Tony-winning revival of The Gershwins' Porgy and Bess to Broadway last season) have been to see the show.
The final performance of The Glass Menagerie in Massachusetts is set for March 17. In order to be eligible for this season's Tony Awards, the show must transfer to Broadway before an unspecified cut-off date at the end of April. This is theoretically possible, but, like most New York real estate, the housing situation is tight.
Currently, there are only four commercial theaters that haven't announced tenants for the spring, summer, or fall:
The St. James Theatre (over 1600 seats)
Tennessee Williams has not had good luck with the St. James. In 1973, A Streetcar Named Desire played 6 previews and 53 performances. In 1977, Vieux Carré played 11 previews and 6 performances. A.R.T.'s acclaimed Glass Menagerie could stop the slump, but the three-tiered house, known primarily as a venue for musicals, would very likely rob the play of the intimacy that, noted by most reviewers, makes it so special.
The Longacre Theatre (1091 seats)
Great location (West 48th Street) and high visibility (right off Times Square).The three-levels of seating might prove a bit too large, but the theater's inherent intimacy (even the last row of the second balcony feels close to the stage) means that the production's haunting qualities wouldn't be lost to the heavens.
The Belasco Theatre (1016 seats)
The three-tiered Belasco, lovingly renovated and allegedly haunted by the ghosts of former owner David Belasco and a woman in a blue dress, is the perfect location for a drama where the characters on stage are the spectral presences in the mind of narrator Tom Wingfield.
The Circle in the Square Theatre (776 seats)
At just under 800 seats, audience members have the opportunity to be directly in Cherry Jones and Zachary Quinto's laps. Not only that, The Glass Menagerie has already played there (a 1975 revival starred Maureen Stapleton and Rip Torn). Plus, a 360-degree view of the dark, reflecting pool of liquid surrounding the stage would heighten the impact of Bob Crowley's ethereal design.
Your move, Glass Menagerie.