★★★★☆ - Delicious
Here’s a new approach to Tennessee Williams’ “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof.” Now playing in the small venue of Majestic Repertory Theater, under the direction of Troy Heard, the show takes place completely in the bedroom of Brick and Maggie. Minor offstage dialogue comes from behind drops of white sheers contributing an air of Southern charm and heat.
At first blush, we’re treated with a gauze-filtered view of Brick, played by Adam Martinez, taking a shower in his briefs. This doesn’t create suspension of disbelief at the top of the show. The need for discretion is understandable, but the lighting might be adjusted to give us only a view of shoulders and above.
Act One is pretty much all Maggie (Breon Jenay), while she waxes on about Big Daddy’s birthday dinner Brick refused to attend. As the scene unfolds and Brick joins her onstage, Jenay provides the backstory of the failed relationship, all at too much the same level. When she says she’s “Lonely…” her intent is to attempt seduction. Failing that, she moves into trying to elicit jealousy. While Martinez remains fully in the scene, with proper reactions, Jenay doesn’t alter delivery in voice or movement fully enough to suck in the audience, to make us feel anything.