A family’s secrets unfold one summer night in Cat on a Hot Tin Roof at Walnut Street Theatre

-Brenda Hillegas
photo by Mark Garvin

“Big Daddy” Pollitt (outstanding performance by Scott Greer) is about to turn 65. He’s also dying, but that’s just one of the secrets the family is keeping from one another in Tennessee Williams’ Cat on a Hot Tin Roof.

It’s summer in Mississippi and the Pollitt family (including a handful of adorably annoying children to break up the tension) has gathered to celebrate, despite the tension in the air. His daughter-in-law, Maggie, is determined to get Big Daddy’s son Brick (an alcoholic, ex football player) the inheritance from the family’s cotton plantation. Big Daddy and Brick, however, do not have the best relationship- a scene between the two in the second act of the show really helps clear the air and allows audiences to understand, even sympathize, with both characters.

The entirety of the play takes place in the bedroom of Maggie and Brick (in a cast from an incident the previous evening). Alanna Smith and Matthew Amira are gripping in their roles as a married couple facing problems that they realize cannot be resolved. They do an incredible job at bringing these classic Williams’ characters to life on stage, unfolding their rocky relationship without too much force- we see who they were and where they are now; the audience remains on the edge of their seats waiting to find out where this couple is going. All the while, friends and family come and go, adding to the build up of the family’s unresolved issues and disappointments with one another. You’ll be whisked away to the South and can almost feel the summer breeze through the windows of their room, thanks to a gorgeous set design from Roman Tatarowicz.

Cat on a Hot Tin Roof is dialog driven, with intense monologues as characters pour out their secrets and struggles. This is a not-to-be-missed, Pulitzer Prize-winning show that runs through March 12th on Walnut Street’s main stage. Tickets and info are available here.

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