‘Cat on a Hot Tin Roof’ opens

Staged reading by CAST goes to the roots of Williams’ classic

CAST Theater and Columbia Center for the Arts present two nights of a staged reading of “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof” by Tennessee Williams on Friday and Saturday, March 22-23, at 7:30 p.m. in the theater at the arts center, 215 Cascade Ave., Hood River.

This staged reading of the Pulitzer Prize-winning play is being directed by Richard Parker. It is the third in a series of staged readings that this year included “Glengarry Glen Ross” and “Travesties.”

“Cat on a Hot Tin Roof” first heated up Broadway in 1955 with its gothic American story of brothers vying for their dying father’s inheritance amid a whirlwind of sexuality, untethered in the person of Maggie the Cat.

The play also daringly showcased the burden of sexuality repressed in the agony of her husband, Brick Pollitt. In spite of the public controversy Cat stirred up, it was awarded the Pulitzer Prize and the Drama Critics Circle Award for that year.

Tickets are $5; available at the door. For more information visit www.columbia-arts.org.

NOTE: the play contains adult language and themes, and is suitable for mature youths ages 14 and up.

In staged readings, the actors read from scripts but incorporate movement and exits.

Director’s remarks

Here are selected comments by Richard Parker on this staging of “Cat,” which he said is one of Tennessee Williams’ “big three” along with “A Streetcar Named Desire” and “The Glass Menagerie.”

“In a lot of ways ‘Cat on a Hot Tin Roof’ is just about his most perfectly constructed play,” Parker said. “It takes place in real time, with everything happening in one evening.”

(Running time is about two and a half hours, with two intermissions.)

The second and third acts pick up at exactly where the previous act left off.

“We’re doing what Williams considers his definitive version, staged in early 1970s on Broadway,” Parker said. “It restored a lot of things that were left out of the original production,” in the mid-1950s.

“Williams is one of our great American playwrights and it’s good to rediscover it. If you have seen the film ‘Cat on a Hot Tin Roof’ you can see this production and see what Williams had intended.”

Cast list: Desiree Amyx-Mackintosh as Maggie, Kevin Fann as Brick, Ken McCarty as Big Daddy, Brenda Haring as Big Mama, David Dye as Cooper, Kathleen Morrow as Mae, Jason Carpenter as Rev. Tolker and Joe Garoutte as Dr. Baugh.

Youths Davis Mackintosh and Tyr Anderson are also in the production.

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Welcome to your sing-able Christmas gift list. What follows is an emergency rendition of “12 Days of Christmas” – for outfitting your home or car in case of snow storm, earthquake, flood or other emergency. Read it as a simple list, or sing it to the tune of “12 Days” – you know, as in “ … and a partridge in a pear tree…” Not to make light of it, but the song is a familiar framework for a set of gift ideas that you could consider gathering together, even if the recipient already owns items such as a bunch of coats, tire chains and flashlights. Stores throughout the Gorge are stocked up on all these items. Buying all 12 days might be prohibitive, but here are three ideas for checking any of the dozen off your list (notations follow, 1-12.) The gift items needed to stay warm, dry and safe are also coded to suggest items in your abode (A) in your car (C) or both (B). 12 Gallons of Water (A) 11 Family meals (B) 10 Cans of propane (A) 9 Hygiene bags (B) 8 Packs of batteries (A) 7 Spare coats (B) 6 Bright red flares (C) 5 Cozy blankets (B) 4 Tire chains (C) 3 Flashlights (B) 2 cell phone chargers (B) 1 And a crush-proof first aid kit (B) Price ranges? Here’s a few quotes for days Three, Two, Four and Nine: n A family gift of flashlights (three will run $15-30, Hood River Supply, Tum-A-Lum) n Cell phone chargers (two will run $30-60) n Tire chains (basic set, $30, Les Schwab, returnable if unused for the winter) n Family meals ($100 or so should cover the basics for three or four reasonably well-fed days) n The home kit should be kept in a handy place near an exit, and remember that water needs to be replenished every few months. If you have a solid first aid kit already, switch out the gift idea with “and-a-sto-o-u-t- tub-for it-all …” Otherwise, it’s a case of assembling your home or car kits and making sure all members of the family know what the resources are and how to use them (ie flares and propane). Emergency situations are at worst life-threatening, at best deeply uncomfortable if you and your family are left without power for an extended period, or traveling and find yourself in a situation where you need to wait out a storm, lengthy traffic delay, or other crisis. Notes on the 12 gift ideas: 12 – Gallons of water: that’s one per person in a four-member family to last for three days, the recommended minimum to be prepared for utility outages. 11 – Easy-open packaged goods, energy bars, dried food and nuts are good things to include for nutrition. Think of what your family of four needs for three days to stay fortified and hydrated (see number 12). Can-opener also recommended 10 – If you have a propane camping stove, keep extra fuel handy. 9 – Hygiene bags: put packaged moistened towelettes, toilet paper, and plastic ties in large garbage bags (for personal sanitation) Resource list courtesy of Hood River County Emergency Management, Barbara Ayers, manager/ 541-386-1213. The county also reminds residents to Get a Kit, Make A Plan to connect your family if separated, and Stay Informed. See www.co.hood-river.or.us to opt-in for citizen alerts. Enlarge

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