Saturday, August 04, 2012

Cate on stage



 Ben Brantley offers a tribute to Cate Blanchett's stage acting. (NYT)
In my theatergoing lifetime, Ms. Redgrave has probably been the supreme example of the tightrope-walking stage star. Though not the most technically accomplished actress of her generation (a mastery of foreign accents continues to elude her), she has regularly and boldly ventured into scary, uncharted terrain. I remember watching her as the love-hungry Lady in Tennessee Williams’s “Orpheus Descending” and thinking at first how implausible she seemed, with her big flailing gestures and a voice that evoked less the Italian matron she was portraying than an addled Scottish nanny.

But it wasn’t long before her clumsy, extravagant gestures and raw expressions began to assemble themselves into a painful, illuminated map of loneliness and longing, and of pride abandoned for passion. By the end, she had taken us to that place – a geography in which Williams specialized — where love strips its victims of decorum and defenses.

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