Costly Performances: Tennessee Williams: The Last Stage

Bruce Smith, Author Paragon House Publishers $19.95 (262p) ISBN 978-1-55778-175-8
Sympathetic, admiring, gifted with seemingly total recall and afflicted with grammatical lapses, a Chicago publicist describes his intimate (but not sexual) three-year friendship with the aging, alcoholic, drug-addicted Tennessee Williams. In Key West, Chicago and New York, assisting the playwright as he worked on the production of his last two plays, Clothes for a Summer Hotel and A House Not Meant to Stand, Smith kept a journal in which he recorded episodes of the dramatist's paranoia, his feelings about Marlon Brando, Truman Capote, Paul Newman, Geraldine Page and various gay companions. Less bitchy and not as depressing as other books on the ``last, sad decline,'' this memoir stresses the ``one great, occasional prick to the tension: humor''--a ``psychic emollient'' with which Williams was ``wildly endowed.'' Photos not seen by PW. (May)
Reviewed on: 05/01/1990
Release date: 05/01/1990
Genre: Nonfiction
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