The Blazing Brilliance of Tennessee Williams’ “A Streetcar Named Desire” at Paramount’s Copley Theatre Bold Series

(from left) Tensions grow between Stanley (Casey Hoekstra), Stanley’s wife, Stella (Alina Taber), and Stella’s sister, Blanche (Amanda Drinkall), in A Streetcar Named Desire by Tennessee Williams, Paramount Theatre’s 2023-24 BOLD Series finale. Performances are March 13-April 21, 2024 at Paramount’s Copley Theatre, 8 E. Galena Blvd. in downtown Aurora. Tickets: or (630) 896-6666. Credit: Liz Lauren
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In a sultry rendition of Tennessee Williams’ masterpiece, Paramount Theatre invites you to embark on a journey through the steamy streets of New Orleans with their riveting production of “A Streetcar Named Desire.” With a cast and crew that breathe life into the classic Southern gothic drama, this rendition provides a visceral theatrical experience that will linger in your mind long after the curtain falls.  Especially as the Copley is a small theatre, and no matter where you sit, you are very close to the action, you feel like you’ve been stuffed into the overheated apartment along with the cast.

Under the masterful direction of Jim Corti and Elizabeth Swanson, the stage at Paramount’s Copley Theatre transforms into the Kowalski’s famously shabby two-room New Orleans apartment, dripping with sweat and violence. Angela Weber Miller’s set design and Mara Blumenfeld’s costumes envelop the audience in the atmosphere of 1940s New Orleans, where morality is as fluid as the bourbon poured freely.

At the heart of the production are the stellar performances delivered by the cast. Amanda Drinkall commands the stage as Blanche DuBois, her portrayal capturing the vulnerability and complexity of Williams’ iconic character as Blanche’s lifetime of lies to herself and others begins to come to light as her grip on sanity grows ever more tenuous. Opposite her, Casey Hoekstra embodies the working-class intensity of Stanley Kowalski, delivering a performance that crackles with raw energy and genuine humor.  You forget if you haven’t seen this play in a while, just how funny it is and how much of that humor and common sense comes from Stanley, which somewhat humanizes him. Alina Taber as Stella Kowalski completes the trio with a poignant portrayal of a woman torn between loyalty to her sister and uncontrollable desire for her husband.

The chemistry between the leads is electrifying, drawing the audience into the tumultuous dynamics of their relationships. As the tension mounts and secrets unravel, the audience is swept along on a rollercoaster of emotion, grappling with themes of guilt and trauma, reality versus illusion, desire versus despair and passivity vs violence.

The able supporting cast also delivers in rounding out the play’s world including standout performances by Andrea Uppling as the Kowalskis’ neighbor Eunice Hubbell and Ben Page, a perfect blend of innocence and betrayal as Blanche’s mark, Mitch Mitchell.

Paramount’s production pays homage to Williams’ timeless classic while infusing it with fresh energy. The themes of love, loss, and the struggle of authenticity vs illusion resonate deeply in today’s world, making “A Streetcar Named Desire” as powerful as ever.

Beyond the captivating performances, Paramount’s commitment to accessibility ensures that all audience members can fully engage with the production. From American Sign Language-interpreted performances to assistive listening devices, Paramount strives to create an inclusive and welcoming environment for all theatergoers.

In conclusion, Paramount Theatre’s production of “A Streetcar Named Desire” is a triumph of storytelling and stagecraft. With its stellar cast, immersive set design, and thought-provoking themes, this rendition honors Tennessee Williams’ legacy while inviting audiences to rediscover the timeless brilliance of one of the greatest plays of the 20th century. Don’t miss your chance to hop aboard this unforgettable journey into the heart of desire and despair.

Tickets are available at the Paramount Box Office.

Photos by Liz Lauren


  • Suzanne Magnuson

    Professional writer with 20 plus years of experience. M.A., M.B.A. Travel Editor and Social Media Manager for Splash Magazines Worldwide. Senior Editor. Member of Advertising Team.

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About Suzanne Magnuson 138 Articles
Professional writer with 20 plus years of experience. M.A., M.B.A. Travel Editor and Social Media Manager for Splash Magazines Worldwide. Senior Editor. Member of Advertising Team.

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