February 14, 2009
When it comes to bargains, the Mississippi University for Women Department of Music and Theatre can''t be beat. For a mere quarter, they are offering Brando, red beans and rice and an evening of Tennessee Williams Friday, Feb. 20, in Cromwell Communication Center on the MUW campus.
As a prelude to its production of Williams'' "The Glass Menagerie" Feb. 26-March 1, the department''s "Meals for a quarter in the Quarter" will include "dinner and a movie" beginning at 7:30 p.m. The original play, written by the Pulitzer Prize-winning author born in Columbus, won the prestigious New York Drama Critics Circle Award in 1945.
"When Tennessee Williams was a struggling artist in New Orleans, he lived for a while in a home run by an eccentric landlady who tried briefly to open a restaurant," explained play director Brook Hanemann, of MUW. "To help pay rent, Williams passed out flyers for his landlady brandishing his own advertising slogan: ''Meals for a quarter in the Quarter.''
"Our event by the same title is a first-come, first-served dinner and movie featuring the classic film version of ''A Streetcar Named Desire,'' starring Marlon Brando. We''ll intro the film with a mini-lecture and watch the movie as we dine on home-cooked New Orleans-style red beans and rice. Seating will be limited to about 65, and when the food runs out, there''ll be no more."
With "Streetcar," Williams won his first Pulitzer Prize in 1951. Brando''s famous howl of "Stella" in the movie version has been described as one of filmdom''s most visceral moments.
"In honor of the New Orleans Tennessee Williams Festival and in promotion of our local and affiliate festival, we''ll be hosting a ''Stell-llahh'' and ''Stanley'' screaming contest Wednesday, Feb. 25, at noon across from the cafeteria," Hanneman said. Anyone interested in competing for prizes for best male and female "performer" may contact her at BHanemann@as.muw.edu to register. The event is open to the public.
For more information about the Tennessee Williams events taking place on the MUW campus through March 1, contact the Department of Music and Theatre at 662-329-7260.
Columbus is home to the Tennessee Williams Festival and Tour of Victorian Homes each fall. The 2009 festival, featuring special guest Olympia Dukakis, is slated for Sept. 10-13.
Jan Swoope is the Lifestyles Editor for The Commercial Dispatch.