Let’s be honest: Nobody in the theater industry wants to sit through another production of Tennessee Williams’ “The Glass Menagerie.” And for a long time, that included the cast members of the Broadway revival of “Menagerie” that opened to raves Sept. 26.
Cherry Jones, the legit fave who won an Emmy for her gig on “24,” had to be cajoled into playing matriarch Amanda in the reading that opened the door for the full production. “When we read it in high school, unless you have the soul of a young poet, you don’t get it,” Jones said at the opening night afterparty at the Redeye Grill. “And we go away with that bitter taste in our mouth, like medicine.”
“When I read it again for this production, I turned to my husband said, ‘Hey, this is a really good play!’ ” said Celia Keenan-Bolger, who plays fragile daughter Laura. “And he was a little like, ‘Um, duh.’ ”
Gentleman caller Brian J. Smith, whose single scene is much longer and richer than most jaded opening nighters remembered from their high school reading, talked about taking important character cues from an old interview Fred Astaire did with Dick Cavett. “Fred had this wonderful combination of style and shyness I wanted to get in there,” he said.
For Zachary Quinto, “Menagerie” is looking like the first of many legit stints. He may have had to take a day off to go to the Emmys (where he was nommed for his perf in “American Horror Story”), but he’s moved from LA to New York now and wants the stage to be a regular haunt for him. “I enjoy going to the theater more and more every night,” he said.