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Adele Elliott: If it's September, it must be Tennessee

 

Adele Elliott

 

It's been "Tennessee Week" in Columbus. The Tennessee Williams Tribute had our dance cards filled with parties, lectures, tours and four performances of a delightful play. 

 

"Period of Adjustment" is probably the lightest of Williams' works. It is about two married couples, one is newlywed, and the other has been married for six years. Both couples are experiencing tension in their marriages. The play's dialogue is filled with humor and angst. If you missed this one, you lost a chance to see some talented actors. However, the "human" cast members were greatly overshadowed by a charming terrier dog, Fatty, in the role of Bessie. 

 

Fatty/Bessie was such a good actress that you would have thought she was an old pro, not a first-time ingenue. I was amazed at how she stayed on the set, foraging for hidden treats, and jumping onto the beds and sofa. She was so comfortable, even when facing an auditorium of strangers. I kept thinking about our two girl dogs. In the same situation they would have leapt off the stage, tails wagging, eager to greet audience members. 

 

"Period of Adjustment" has finished its run. But, for those who are reading this early enough, there is still time to the hear Rev. Anne Harris give a sermon about the play. The times are 8 a.m. and 10:30 a.m., today, at St. Paul's Episcopal Church, 318 College St. It is free to attend. 

 

There is also time to join the Tour of Victorian Homes, from 2 p.m.-5 p.m. today. The price is only $20 for a peek into a private home and two charming bed and breakfasts. At the Moon Lake B and B, you will meet some of Tennessee's iconic characters. Be polite to them. Remember, they are in their own personal suites. You are an interloper there. Start at the Tennessee Williams Welcome Center, 300 Main St., for this adventure. 

 

We have a great time every year at the Stella Shouting Contest. Dozens of people channeling Stanley Kowalski gathered under Gloria Herriott's Fifth Street balcony, screaming for the uncommunicative Stella. This competition draws men, women and children. All have polished their plaintive wails, hoping to receive her restrained attention. Here's a fun fact: did you know that the Stanley character was based on a close friend of Williams'? 

 

This week of events draws culture lovers not only from the Golden Triangle, but from all over the United States. Whirlwind Brenda Caradine has worked so diligently on this celebration of America's greatest playwright that I sometimes think he is still with us. Alas, Tennessee Williams has been gone for 30 years. However, I like to imagine him visiting Columbus for this wonderful week that commemorates his life and his work. I think he would be thrilled that the city of his birth is so very proud of him.

 

Adele Elliott, a New Orleans native, moved to Columbus after Hurricane Katrina.

 

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