Catch Williams' 'Cat on a Hot Tin Roof' in Carbondale

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Southern values run deep, but family troubles cut deeper still.

The Montana Repertory Theater presents "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof" at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday at the Shryock Auditorium in Carbondale, Ill. The cast brings to life Tennessee William's Tony Award-winning story of a rich and problem-laden Southern family.

Meet Maggie "the Cat" and her husband, Brick Pollitt, are part of a well-to-do Southern family in Mississippi. Maggie married into the Pollitt family to escape a life of poverty but finds herself emotionally poor in the family's callous personal relationships.

The play takes place when the family gathers on the family farm in Mississippi to celebrate "Big Daddy" Pollitt's birthday. He is dying of cancer, but the family and doctors keep his condition a secret from Big Daddy and his wife.

Each family member must deal with an internal devil — alcohol, homosexuality, greed, a loveless relationship — while keeping face in the Deep South culture. All the while, they're vying for a top spot in Big Daddy's will.

Honesty is never the best policy in Tennessee William's Southern setting. The coming of age of the female gender and the lies of those in power weave through this play originally done in 1955, when it won the Pulitzer Prize for drama.

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