in the 1940s, 1950s, and 1960s, but today you can be uncomfortably aware that most of his characters' problems could be solved by a few credit cards and access to reliable birth control.
Dated though his works sometimes seem, he was a brilliant playwright, and The Glass Menagerie at the Purple Rose is a reminder of what pure beauty can be wrought by four good actors and some floor space.
Menagerie is an American classic about a family on the way down. Two grown children and their mother are slowly going insane cooped up in a St. Louis tenement. The mother, Amanda (Michelle Mountain), lives in a dream world of dance cards, cotillions, and gentlemen callers, and her pathologically shy daughter, Laura (Molly Thomas), copes by counting and polishing her glass animal collection. Son Tom (Tom Whalen) is the only one who can hold a job, but it's menial, soul-killing factory labor, as he and his mother remind each other every few minutes or so, to make sure he doesn't escape the family curse of hopelessness.