steadily out of matched goals and personality traits. He’s interested in the other love—powerful, inexplicable passion based on the deep, magical voodoo between the sexes.
Feverish, hormonal love and the stagecraft that goes with it seem to be the theme this year at Purple Rose. The season kicks off with Apartment 3A, a remounted production of the 1996 Daniels play. It runs until Christmas; then January brings Tennessee Williams’s A Streetcar Named Desire. One comedy, one tragedy, both are stories of fragile, delusional women and the men who tear their clothes off them, more or less right onstage. (It’s a little harder to tell if the third and fourth plays in the Rose’s season will follow this trajectory since they’re world premieres and unknown quantities, but their early blurbs suggest that they too explore the love-lust boundary.)
Streetcar takes a famously jaundiced view of women who trust in the kindness of strangers, especially women who are down on their luck. Apartment 3A, on the other hand, finds wonder and redemption in the very forces that suck the life out of Streetcar’s Blanche and Stella. At the opening of Apartment 3A, Annie, a public-television producer, has just rented the apartment of the play’s title to slit her wrists in. A few days later, as the play ends, she has fallen in love twice and been splendidly ravished onstage by someone pretending to be a polar bear. She’s none the worse for it. In fact, she drinks in these events as if they were a marvelous new health tonic, and skips off to a new, rejuvenated life.