PERIOD OF ADJUSTMENT
PERIOD OF ADJUSTMENT
Reviewed by Jeffrey R Smith of the SF Bay Area Theatre Critics Circle
The SF Playhouse is presently home to PERIOD OF ADJUSTMENT by Tennessee Williams.
Award Winning Director Bill English breathes levity, relevancy and a modern spirit into what has been described as a “serious comedy.”
The result is a heart-warming romantic comedy; a toasty little holiday chestnut pulled off the glowing coals for your holiday entertainment and edification.
Williams recognized post-traumatic stress disorder back in the 1950s when much of our unsympathetic nation, frustrated over Truman’s orchestrated Korean stalemate, derided returning veterans as “wimps,” unfairly contrasting them to the victorious heroes of the decisive World War II.
Returning veterans Ralph Bates and George Haverstick, marvelously played by Johnny Moreno and Patrick Alperone, fail to be anesthetized by the burgeoning material promise and the spiritual lassitude of the Eisenhower era.
Each harbors an expectation for something larger than mediocrity and more liberating than conformity.
Each too, is unable to feign normal sexual relations with his respective spouse.
Is this Williams calling into question the existence of pure heterosexuality as he did in CAT ON A HOT TIN ROOF, or is he ascribing the dysfunctionality to the trauma of war and male insensitivity?
Not having the expedient luxury of reaching for the triangular blue pharmaceuticals, the two veterans rightly arrive at the conclusion that sex is a sequel, not a prequel, to tenderness, intimacy and understanding.
Joe Madero, as the obtuse, blustering and menacing MR McGillicuddy, accounts for a disproportion share of the humor in this staging.
While we have distanced ourselves from the culture, mores and archaic beliefs of the 1950s, our emotional evolution has essentially remained at a standstill; the lessons of PERIOD OF ADJUSTMENT could easily be just the perfect Holiday Gift for you and your loved one.
A set by the Bay Area’s premier designer is absolutely magical; given that the set sustains two ripping “earthquakes” during the show demonstrates Nina Ball’s understanding of seismic engineering.
To warm your heart this Holiday Season, without using an ounce of fossil fuel, get thee to the SF Playhouse and PERIOD OF ADJUSTMENT . . . you just might get an adjustment yourself.
For tickets call 415-677-9596 or surf over to www.sfplayhouse.org.