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Jessica Lange Best Performance of a Tennessee Williams' character.

She has played THREE of the most iconic characters from the works of Tennessee Williams.

Which was her best?

Maggie The Cat

Blanche DuBois

Amanda Wingfield

by Anonymousreply 2001/14/2013

Her Blanche on Broadway was a near-disaster as she hadn't learned to project properly. I heard she did better when she repeated the role in London.

Her Amanda was nothing special and the production itself was horrible, with so much of the action taking place behind a scrim.

So I guess her Maggie on Showtime is the best of the three. Not sure if that's saying too much.

by Anonymousreply 101/03/2013

where are all the theatre queens?

by Anonymousreply 201/03/2013

She should go through the Williams catalogue for something else to film as a theatrical release. There have to be a few other gems.

by Anonymousreply 301/03/2013

Don't forget Jessica's performance singing the 1960's hit, "The Name Game" on last night's American Horror Story: Asylum.

Jessica, no longer a nun but now a patient, was looking and singing very Dusty Springfield with the dances moves of Nancy Sinatra. It was a hoot.


by Anonymousreply 401/03/2013

I still can't get over The Name Game.

by Anonymousreply 501/03/2013

The only Williams play I've been to was "The Red Devil Battery Sign" with Elizabeth Ashley.

by Anonymousreply 601/03/2013

"where are all the theatre queens?:

They've picked apart Lange's stage performances already.

by Anonymousreply 701/03/2013

[quote] They've picked apart Lange's stage performances already.

They need to do it again, cause I didn't hear anything.

by Anonymousreply 801/03/2013

Her best stage performance was actually not in a Williams play - but rather as Margaret Tyrone in a West End revival of "A Long Days Journey Into Night." That "Menagarie" was dreadful - all that subtext of Tom and Laura fucking.

by Anonymousreply 901/03/2013

I love her, but she was pretty bad in Cat on a Hot Tin Roof. I think she's a good actress generally, but maybe she needed a director with a stronger hand when she played Maggie.

Although she's decent in the quieter and more sly moments, when the emotional peaks arrive, she's WAY over the top, and she goes, well, comically overboard physicalizing the metaphor of Maggie being cat-like. It's just too much. Of course when you're trying to compete with ham-of-the-century Rip Torn (10 years too young for the role and badly mis-matched with Kim Stanley), I guess you have to pull out all the stops.

Tommy Lee Jones is a bit slight, physically, to be cast in this role, but his quiet intensity works for Brick. Penny Fuller and David Dukes are perfect, truly the best Gooper and Mae that I've seen -- fleshed out from caricature into real people.

by Anonymousreply 1001/03/2013

I love Jessica Lange. She's the greatest American actress today; better than Streep in my opinion.

by Anonymousreply 1101/03/2013

It's Mary Tyrone, R9, but I do recall that she got fine reviews in that play. Wish I'd seen it. Didn't Charles Dance play James?

Based on R10's description, it sounds like Lange went the Kathleen Turner route with Maggie. Turner was over-the-top too when she did it on Broadway.

by Anonymousreply 1201/03/2013

I'd love to see Lange take on another O'Neill heroine - Christine Mannion in MOURNING BECOMES ELECTRA, though she'd have to do it onstage since she's too old to play it onscreen at this point. Her HORROR STORY co-star Lily Rabe would make a terrific Lavinia.

by Anonymousreply 1301/03/2013

I agree with r11

I am not going to get into some Meryl Streep argument with her fans, fanatics and trolls.

Jessica Lange has sometimes not done well in a great role, but she always draws you in. Meryl is for magpies. She is reflective.

Streep hardly ever gets critized and seldom does great roles anyway. She is a different sort of actress, no matter her training and pedigree.

Jessica Lange has something different going on internally, as well as technique. She is not a portrait artist, she is layered and mysterious, and sometimes it gets a bit hazy.

Jessica Lange and Alec Baldwin in A Streetcar Named Desire, were far from a discredit to the play. I am not old enough to make all the comparisons.

by Anonymousreply 1401/03/2013

For some reason Broadway is cursed ground for Lange. Her performance of Blanche Dubois was much better received in Peter Hall's production of "Streetcar" in London, and Rupert Goold's West End production of "The Glass Menagerie" was supposedly infinitely better than the David Leveaux fiasco. She won raves for "Long Day's Journey Into Night," even nabbing an Olivier Award nomination. She was supposed to play Mary Tyrone on Broadway, but those plans fell through, and instead a production starring Vanessa Redgrave took its place and Redgrave won a Tony for it.

by Anonymousreply 1501/03/2013

Yes, sorry Mary Tyrone.

Charles Dance, Paul Rudd and cutie Paul Nicholls were the rest of the Tyrone's.

by Anonymousreply 1601/03/2013

r1 is just parroting some of the reviews. I saw her opening night sitting in row M (13th row), and I heard every word, every breath. She was unbelievable as Blanche, and one could actually forget the brilliant Vivien Leigh.

by Anonymousreply 1701/03/2013

"Streep hardly ever gets critized and seldom does great roles anyway."

She does get criticized, actually. You're correct that given her focus on film work, she hasn't taken on many classic roles, though she did get fine notices for THE SEA GULL (despite the mediocre production itself) and MOTHER COURAGE in Central Park.

You could say she's very clever not to take on many roles where she's going to be frequently compared to multiple actresses who have essayed them in the past. The route to achieving a long-standing reputation as a Great Actress is perhaps easier that way.

Still, I think she could do it if she wanted to.

Fanny dear, I saw Lange a few weeks after the opening and sat in the second row of the center Mezzanine, and strained to hear her throughout (unlike the rest of the cast). You must have seen her on a good day.

by Anonymousreply 1801/04/2013

She hit her career peak in 1976, with "King Kong". It's been all downhill since.

by Anonymousreply 1901/04/2013

What next Tennessee character should Lange tackle next?

by Anonymousreply 2001/14/2013
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