Glass Menagerie, a new production featuring Amy Adams, has earned different reviews from critics. The Hollywood actress makes her debut in the West End of Tennessee Williams’s 1944 play.
The Telegraph stated that Adams was “clear, simple, believable, and quietly heartbreaking” in the play.
Yet others indicate opposite feedback. For instance, the Evening Standard called her performance “muted and unconvincing.”
Her recent films, including The Woman in the Window, Hillbilly Elegy, and Dear Evan Hansen, earned not-so-positive feedback commercially and critically.
Critics have been commenting on how Adams’ performance in Glass Menagerie has pushed the actress to new heights.
Dominic Cavendish of The Telegraph added, “What Adams catches in her determined radiance and subtle gestures is the female equivalent of Arthur Miller’s Willy Loman: someone going through the motion of coping but in dire need of some good news.”
The show was not entirely perfect, but it still managed to get a three-star review from Cavendish. He noted that some of the sounds and set designs were less effective; other characters were underused.
“The casting of the Hollywood luminary Amy Adams… may be the main selling point. Whether the gambit works is another matter,” The Times’ Clive Davis said, awarding the Glass Menagerie three stars.
“All praise to Adams, nevertheless, for taking on a role that has tested many an actress.”
He added, “Since Williams steered clear of naturalistic stage directions, Herrin and Vicki Mortimer, the set designer, allowed themselves free rein,” pointing out the production.
“Laura’s cherished collection of glass animals stands in a sleek case that looks as if it belongs in the foyer of a boutique hotel. Ash J Woodward’s video projections add punctuation.”
“The details are stylishly assembled,” he concluded, “but they fail to carry the evening.”
Adams “makes a muted and unconvincing West End debut,” said Nick Curtis of The Evening Standard in a two-star review, further stating that she is “often indistinct, somewhat phony and offstage for a large chunk of the action.”
“She’s not bad, just unremarkable in a role that strikes a single, clanging note of hysterical gentility throughout.”
He further said: “Herrin’s version takes place on an almost bare stage tinged – by designer Vicki Mortimer – with arc lights, reel-to-reel tapedecks and chairs, and crowned by a giant video screen on which flickering colors are cast.
“It’s intended to evoke Williams’ vision of a dream-like setting. Unfortunately, the monolithic and well-lit vitrine which contains Laura’s laboriously symbolic menagerie of glass animals and which dominates the stage resembles a boutique perfume counter.”