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    2008-2009 reviews:
  • Anaïs Nin Goes To Hell
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  • Blanche Survives Katrina in a FEMA Trailer Named Desire
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  •  REVIEW: BLANCHE SURVIVES KATRINA IN A FEMA TRAILER NAMED DESIRE

    Mark Sam Rosenthal as Blanche Dubois in Blanche Survives Katrina in a FEMA Trailer Named Desire
    Mark Sam Rosenthal as Blanche Dubois

    The Kindness of FEMA

    Mark Sam Rosenthal's funny and poignant "Blanche Survives Katrina in a FEMA Trailer Named Desire" sends Tennessee Williams's most famous heroine into a future she struggles to make sense of.

    By CARAID O'BRIEN
    Offoffoff.com

    Whatever the horror of Blanche Dubois's mental anguish as she is carted away to an insane asylum at the end of Tennesse William's "A Streetcar Named Desire," surely it couldn't be worse than the trauma and heaped on humiliations suffered by the hundreds of thousands of people who experienced Hurricane Katrina.

      
    BLANCHE SURVIVES KATRINA IN A FEMA TRAILER NAMED DESIRE
    Written and performed by: Mark Sam Rosenthal.
    Directed by: Todd Parmley.
    Production design by: Angelina Margolis.
    Art direction by: Angelina Margolis.
    Sound design by: Scott Rosenthal.
    Set design by: Kelly Tighe.
    Costumes by: Angelina Margolis.
    Production stage manager: Kate August.

    Related links: Official site
     SCHEDULE
    The Players Theatre
    115 MacDougal Street
    Fringe Festival 2008, Aug. 8-24, 2008

     RELATED ARTICLES
    Fringe Festival 2008
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  • Reviews:
  • Anaïs Nin Goes To Hell
  • beast: a parable
  • Blanche Survives Katrina in a FEMA Trailer Named Desire
  • China: The Whole Enchilada
  • The Corn Maiden
  • Extraordinary Rendition
  • Hidden Fees*
  • The Longest Running Joke of the Twentieth Century
  • Lucasville: The Untold Story of a Prison Uprising
  • Mourn the Living Hector
  • A Nasty Story
  • the october crisis (to laura)
  • Other Bodies
  • Prayer
  • Psalms of a Questionable Nature
  • Raised by Lesbians
  • Reasonable Doubt
  • The Third from the Left
  • Zombie
  • The funny and poignant one-man show "Blanche Survives Hurricane Katrina in a FEMA Trailer Named Desire," written and performed by Mark Sam Rosenthal, imagines that Blanche Dubois's break with reality in 1950s New Orleans lands her body and soul at the Superdome after the hurricane in 2005. It is an apt metaphor for the people who lost everything and were hurled into situation after situation that lacked any connection to their former lives, as their families and homes and every aspect of their realities disappeared. Each of them was, as Rosenthal describes Blanche, like a "character without a setting," a character whose only sin was "a life lived at an imperiled altitude."

    The character of Blanche, in a relaxed and engaging performance by Rosenthal, is a gay man in a skewed blond wig who thinks he is the alcoholic tempest that is Blanche Dubois from Tennessee William's famous play. After surviving two days atop a stove, Blanche is brought to the dome. On route, she gratefully plucks a forty from the fingers of a dead man whose "body was cold, beer was warm." Blanche's quips describing the conditions at the Superdome as "the rotunda of dubious refuge, the human detritus of a fallen city state. The toilet bowls overflowing with the waste of the unwanted" are mercifully funny but, after the laughter dies down, the audience is left with a horrific image of what the people there endured. Reminiscent of statements by former first lady Barbara Bush, Blanche's uncomprehending observations of her fellow survivors are so insulting and condescending, you can only laugh. Blanche says: "Everyone there appeared to be someone's maid and yet the place was filthy."


      
    Reminiscent of statements by former first lady Barbara Bush, Blanche's uncomprehending observations of her fellow survivors are so insulting and condescending, you can only laugh.  

      
    Like any penniless, unmarried, alchoholic Southern woman from the 50s, however, Blanche's survival skills are superb as she is shuttled from motel to trailer to church to Popeye's fried chicken. Deftly directed by Todd Parmley, "Blanche Survives Katrina in a FEMA Trailer Named Desire" is a humorous yet bitterly sad meditation on the desperate conditions during a national disaster where government relief was inept at best, criminal at worst.

    AUGUST 15, 2008
    OFFOFFOFF.COM • THE GUIDE TO ALTERNATIVE NEW YORK


    Reader comments on Blanche Survives Katrina in a FEMA Trailer Named Desire:

  • script   from Holly Hathaway, Nov 13, 2008

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