Stanley Kowalski Has Dropped The "Kowalski"

Categories: Theater

1.158309.jpg

As you know, Tennessee Williams's culture-clash classic A Streecar Named Desire is coming to Broadway any moment now, featuring a cast of color.

Well, at a Drama Desk panel discussion at Sardi's the other day, Blair Underwood -- who's playing the old Brando role, the brutish Stanley Kowalski -- said he's just Stanley now.

"Do I look Polish?" he cracked to host Elysa Gardner, from USA Today.

Underwood went on to reveal: "We got permission from the Tennessee Williams estate to take out the 'Kowalskis.'"

It's a good thing Stanley simply yells "Stella!" instead of "Stella Kowalski," or that would have to be changed, too.


Other tidbits from the panel:


*Michael McKean related that author Gore Vidal had come to some rehearsals of his The Best Man. "We talked very little about the play," admitted McKean. "We wanted to talk about, 'Who do you think killed Kennedy?'"


*Godspell's endlessly crucified Hunter Parrish (from Weeds) smiled and said, "I used to be asked if I smoked weed and now I get asked about Jesus!"

As for the time he was a replacement in Spring Awakening, Parrish said, "That was pretty simple for me because I was a horny teenager."

When he revealed that he's now all of 24, McKean chimed in, "I've got catheters older than that!"


*Cynthia Nixon said she'd love to play Iago, which led Manhattan Theater Club's Lynne Meadow to half-jokingly chime in that Cherry Jones would be great as Othello.

But they'd probably have to change the characters' names!



Sponsor Content

My Voice Nation Help
13 comments
Fido
Fido

There are black polish people.

Cf. Krystian Legierski

Southern Dave
Southern Dave

Underwood called an actor friend of mine, Harold Sylvester, about how to pronounce "Galatoire's," where Blanche and Stella go to chow down. Sylvester, who played Stanley in an all-black "Streetcar" in New Orleans for Dashiki Theatre in 1984, told him that local audiences  would have guffawed at an African-American Stella and Blanche getting into Galatoire's in the 1940s. Dashiki director Ted Gilliam changed it to "Dooky's." Dooky Chase is a legendary restaurant on Orleans Avenue where master chef Leah Chase has been making the best gumbo and seafood in N'Awlins for everybody from Martin Luther King to Duke Ellington and President Obama -- and millions of "just folks," too. It was a day of rejoicing when Dooky's reopened after Katrina and I was in line that day, and like Oliver Twist,  I stayed to ask for "MORE!"

Allen Firth
Allen Firth

What is with the "estates" of these famous writers, composers, et al? (Besides pure greed; gotta keep those royalties coming in.)  Williams had no children, so who is mucking about with his words?  Next thing you know, somoene will be staging The Simpsons' version of "Streetcar! The Musical!'

Fudgie
Fudgie

Yeah, Tennessee Williams should just written the character as "Man"--no color, no ethnicity. Maybe not even call it Man because that rules out women from playing it.

freddiemessina
freddiemessina

What's sad is that there's so much race specific work out there, That it limits who you can see in what without rewrites.

Cinephile
Cinephile

Can we have an all white Porgy and Bess?

Purista
Purista

Tampering with Tennessee Williams? Oy. I feel sick.

latenitebump
latenitebump

 thank you for that tidbit, fido. he´s cute, too. wow! and what credientials. stuff i like to read about concerning black (gay) men! positive imagery.

Savannah Montgomery
Savannah Montgomery

 Honey, you don't know "Southern"....being "kin" is like winning the lottery...we hated him live, but dead?  OMG!

Punkeisha
Punkeisha

Yep, why not. Set it in Appalachia. That would probably work. Or are you just race-bating?

Loading...