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Throw A Glass Menagerie, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, and A Streetcar Named Desire into a Cuisinart with Priscilla, Queen of the Desert and the result might look a lot like the Landless Theatre’s hodgepodge homage, The Glass Mendacity. The families get more mixed up than Bill Wyman’s, but the common themes of Tennessee Williams’ work form the essence of this tribute as well: alcohol, horny women, who’ll get the inheritance, and who’ll get carted off to the loony bin. Big Daddy (Julia Bilek Hyland) comes through unaltered from Cat, still dying and surrounded by greedy offspring, but he’s married to Big Amanda (Matt Baughman in a blond Marge Simpson wig). Their children, Brick (played to good comic effect by a stuffed doll), Blanche Dubois (Tyler Smith), who’s married to Stanley Kowalski (Patricia Penn), and weirdo-daughter-they-don’t-talk-about, ice-sculpture-animal-collecting Laura (Katherine Lawrence), have gathered to celebrate Big Daddy’s birthday—“My children comin’ home to Belle Rive like sucker fish in the spring”—but the plot jumps tracks quicker than the Red Line, and half the fun of the show is trying to identify all the references to Williams’ various plays. Maggie the Cat (Ally Jenkins), in a series of slips for all occasions, is still trying to get a limp Brick to impregnate her, but in this telling, it’s she who’s had a date with Stanley from the beginning. Laura’s gentleman caller, Mitch (Jill Vanderweit), falls head over straitjacket for Blanche; Big Amanda tries to show Laura up with stories of her own father having to erect bleachers to accommodate hundreds of gentleman callers back in the day. Some of the laughs come from wringing the last drop of exaggeration from pretty exaggerated source material (abiding by Williams’ conventions, Stanley is forced to address Amanda as “Big Mama-in-Law Woman”); other jokes are a product of writers Maureen Morley and Tom Willmorth’s out-of-the-blue imagination. Parody of this sort invites actors to explore exactly where the top is, then go slightly over it (but without just screaming their fool heads off). Smith’s portrayal of Blanche’s descent into madness, for example, is a twitching, bug-eyed delight, as is Jenkins’ perpetual estrus. Costume and makeup designers Patricia Penn, Sarah McKnight, and Karina Wright have devised simple evocative touches for each main character: Maggie has her slips; Stanley, a six o’clock shadow; Big Daddy, a giant stuffed Old Granddad belly; and deadly-pale Laura, bits stuck to her lips, souvenirs of her constant nervous vomiting. Director Andrew Lloyd Baughman deserves credit for keeping the jokes coming at an Abrahams-Zucker pace. After the reverent tributes around town this summer, Mendacity is the perfect pin to let a little air out of America’s favorite drama queen.

—Janet Hopf