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Publisher's Summary

Caedmon is proud to release this archival full-cast recording of Tennessee Williams's A Streetcar Named Desire.

Blanche DuBois arrives at her sister Stella's New Orleans apartment seeking refuge from a troubled past but her ethereal spirit irks Stella's husband, the loutish Stanley Kowalski. Crudely, relentlessly, he unmasks the lies and delusions that sustain Blanche, until her frail hold on reality is shockingly severed.

This atmospheric recording of Tennessee Williams's powerful classic stars Rosemary Harris and James Farentino as Blanche and Stanley roles they performed to acclaim in a smash revival at New York's Lincoln Center.

©1975 The University of the South (P)2008 HarperCollins Publishers

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4 out of 5 stars
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    201
  • 4 Stars
    93
  • 3 Stars
    52
  • 2 Stars
    19
  • 1 Stars
    23

Performance

  • 4 out of 5 stars
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    179
  • 4 Stars
    74
  • 3 Stars
    39
  • 2 Stars
    11
  • 1 Stars
    20

Story

  • 4 out of 5 stars
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    185
  • 4 Stars
    63
  • 3 Stars
    48
  • 2 Stars
    8
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    17
Sort by:
  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Great play, questionable acting

While I very much enjoy the works of Tennessee Williams, this reading was altogether too melodramatic for my tastes, in terms of the performance choices. If you can see past the acting and listen more to the words, then it's a worthwhile listen.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Amazing Performance!!

The actors are ABSOLUTELY FABULOUS!!! And the special effects, ambiance, & background noises had me hooked from start to finish!! I only wish there was a visual transcript because I was trying to follow along in my play script and there were lots of adlibs and improvisation so it was hard to follow along.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Lots of background noise

The background noise is very distracting and overpowers a lot of the speaking which makes it difficult to focus on the storyline vs what's happening in the background

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Excellent

Great performance of an excellent play. A lot of heavy themes including empowerment (or lack thereof) of women, the need for illusions under duress, the consequences of insensitivity and lack of patience on a vulnerable person, and on and on...Highly recommended.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Disappointing

What disappointed you about A Streetcar Named Desire (Dramatized)?

I absolutely adore Streetcar Named Desire, and I LOVE Tennessee Williams, but I found this dramatization way, way, WAY over the top! I understand that Blanche Dubois is a frail, hysterical woman, but the actress' wailing really just made me cringe. I will be requesting my credit back.
The actor who narrated Stanley Kowalski was very good, however.

Who would you have cast as narrator instead of Rosemary Harris and James Farentino ?

Unsure.

You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

Only the fact that it is a Streetcar Named Desire.

Any additional comments?

I found myself cringing during most of the audiobook because of the actress' hysterical, wailing.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars

Terrible Quality

What would have made A Streetcar Named Desire (Dramatized) better?

Better quality. You can hardly hear the characters speaking, the background noises drown everything out.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

A top-notch performance!

i didnt think it was over the top at all (in terms of over-acting as some reviewers suggested)... these are top rate dramatic performances that bring the play by Tennessee Williams to life... true to the original source and to the theatrical spirit in general... thoroughly enjoyable! recommended listen!

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Delivery? Conversion?

I'd never read the play before, but I felt like, as an English major, I should know the story. In my opinion, Blanch was a bit overdramatic, but that could have been intentional. My main difficulty was with how stage was converted to audio. There's one scene where Mitch enters without a word and Blanch tries coming off as proper. Until I looked up a summary of the play, however, I thought Blanch was having some kind of hallucination. This production was all character dialogue, which made following the story confusing at times. A narrator reading stage directions would have been helpful.

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars

Uneven production hinders William's genius

An audio version of Tennessee Williams masterpiece should be what the doctor ordered, however this production falls short. The poetry and the drama are still there but the characterizations leave something to be desired. Here Stanley Kowalski has gone from a New Orleans everyman to a Bronx construction worker who shouts almost everything and Mitch disappears into a forgettable rube. Also the production leans to heavily on background noise that only caused confusion for me. Rosemary Harris gives a good performance as Blanch Dubois but she comes as more desperate than I imagined the character. This is still one of the great American plays written by a one of the great dramatists but there are probably better productions outthere.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

An emotional journey!

Very well played!! I enjoyed the emotional intricacies of each character which were brought to life by the narrators.
My ninth grader is reading this in English literature. The subject matter seems more appropriate for upper high schoolers.