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Review: A noisy 'Cat on a Hot Tin Roof' distracts
"Cat," first seen in New York in 1955, tells the tale of one family's machinations to control some prime Mississippi Delta farmland. They've gathered to celebrate the 65th birthday of the patriarch, Big Daddy, who does not know he's dying of cancer.
Brick is mourning the death of good friend Skipper and the ambiguity of their relationship, which not only haunts him but Maggie as well. Brick retreats into booze, leaving Maggie alone to fend off her greedy in-laws and their "no-neck monster" children eager to take control of ailing Big Daddy's extensive land holdings.
To be fair to a show that tries to expose mendacity, Ashford does a great job ratcheting up the paranoia, as Christopher Oram's beautiful set featuring four huge French windows and billowing curtains seem always visited by figures listening in.
The director's handling of five dancing children is nicely done and Brick, suffering a broken ankle, trying to escape confrontation by hobbling across every corner of the set like a wounded animal is strongly choreographed.
But Ashford should just have let Tennessee Williams handle the fireworks.
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