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TO DECEMBER 16
This remounting of Washington Shakespeare Company’s hit production of Tennessee Williams’ masterwork looks much better than it did at the Church Street Theater, where an overexpansive set made it seem vague and unfocused. It still flashes with individual moments of originality rather than overwhelming the audience, because the evening’s strongest moments have to do with transition and ambivalence—characters caught between two feelings or two characters or two obligations, rather than the explosions for which Streetcar is generally noted. This is not necessarily a bad thing, but it means the evening doesn’t deliver the knockout punch of which the play is capable. That is not to say Brian Hemmingsen’s hugely vulnerable Stanley Kowalski and Nanna Ingvarsson’s freshly edgy Stella are less than grand. And they’re surrounded by other strong performances and some intriguingly eccentric directorial touches—a saxophonist sequestered in an upstairs apartment, a gay street hustle that takes place during one of Blanche’s panicked phone calls. If there’s no sense that the play is a pressure cooker, its melodrama is nonetheless effective. At 8 p.m. Thursday-Saturday; matinee at 3 p.m. Sunday at the Clark Street Playhouse, 601 S. Clark St., Arlington. $10-15. (703) 418-4808. (Bob Mondello)