ENTERTAINMENT ARTS & CULTURE

'Hey Stella!': 70 years of 'A Streetcar Named Desire'

“A Streetcar Named Desire,” among the most omnipresent plays in pop culture, turns 70 this year. Pivotal performances and hommages have placed — and kept — the Pulitzer Prize-winning Tennessee Williams drama on the map.

Ever asked yourself why a woman like Stella stays with a man like Stanley? This'll tell you why!!

1947

‘Streetcar’ premieres on Broadway

After a brief run at the Shubert in New Haven, the play opens Dec. 3 at the Ethel Barrymore Theatre on Broadway. The production is directed by Elia Kazan and stars Marlon Brando and Jessica Tandy. Both actors are little known at the time. Tandy goes on to win a Tony Award for best actress in a play. The show closes in 1949, after 855 performances, and launches a national tour starring Uta Hagen as Blanche and Anthony Quinn as Stanley.

Jessica Tandy as Blanche DuBois in the 1947 Broadway production of "A Streetcar Named Desire," with Steve Hubbel and Marlon Brando.
Jessica Tandy as Blanche DuBois in the 1947 Broadway production of "A Streetcar Named Desire," with Steve Hubbel and Marlon Brando. (AP Photo)

1949

‘Streetcar’ in London

Laurence Olivier directs the original London production, which stars Vivien Leigh, Bonar Colleano and Renee Asherson.

1951

On the big screen

Marlon Brando forever cements the phrase, “Hey Stella,” in the popular consciousness with his powerful performance in the first film adaptation of the play, directed by Kazan and also starring Leigh as Blanche. The film wins four Oscars including Leigh for lead actress, Karl Malden for supporting actor as Mitch and Kim Hunter for supporting actress as Stella. Brando is nominated for lead actor but loses to Humphrey Bogart in “The African Queen.”

1952

A ballet named ‘Streetcar’

The play is staged as a ballet for the first time in a production choreographed by Valerie Bettis. Slavenska-Franklin Ballet premieres the work at Her Majesty's Theatre in Montreal.

1973

First Broadway revival

This time it’s Rosemary Harris as Blanche, James Farentino as Stanley and Patricia Connolly as Stella. Lincoln Center produces the play at the Vivian Beaumont Theater.

1984

Maiden voyage to the small screen

The first full made-for-TV production of “Streetcar” stars Ann-Margret as Blanche, Treat Williams as Stanley, Beverly D'Angelo as Stella and Randy Quaid as Mitch. Ann-Margret, D'Angelo and Quaid are nominated for Emmys but don’t win. Ann-Margret does, however, win a Golden Globe.

1988

Comeback at the Tonys

After a 40-year absence at the Tonys, a revival of "Streetcar" earns nominations for Frances McDormand as Stella and Blythe Danner as Blanche. The show, at the Circle in the Square Theatre, also stars Aidan Quinn as Stanley.

1992

A return to its roots

A hugely successful revival starring Alec Baldwin as Stanley and Jessica Lange as Blanche opens at the Ethel Barrymore Theatre, the same theater as the original Broadway production. Baldwin is nominated for a Tony but does not win.

1992

‘Hey Marge!’

The animated Fox sitcom “The Simpsons” releases an episode during its fourth season titled, “A Streetcar Named Marge,” in which Marge is cast as Blanche in a community theater production of “Streetcar.” Homer begins to act very Stanley-esque.

Ned Flanders in "A Streetcar Named Marge"

2005

Natasha Richardson’s final Broadway role

Natasha Richardson stars as Blanche in another Broadway revival, but it's Amy Ryan as Stella who scores the Tony nomination. John C. Reilly co-stars as Stanley. The show is Richardson’s final role on Broadway. She dies in a skiing accident in 2009.

Credit: NY1. May 11 is Natasha Richardson's Birthday. Honoring her, I have uploaded videos concerning some of her favorite projects. "A Streetcar Named Desire" was very Close to th ...

2012

Scottish Ballet dances down time-worn tracks

Scottish Ballet opens its version of “A Streetcar Named Desire,” directed by Nancy Meckler.

Support our journalism

Already a subscriber? Thank you for your support. If you are not, please consider subscribing today. Get full access to our signature journalism for just 99 cents for the first four weeks.

ALSO:

Review: Paul Taylor proves staying power of '70s and '80s dance

'Music Center on Location' will bring shows to Hollywood and Culver City

Scottish Ballet's 'A Streetcar Named Desire' gives muscle to female characters

Copyright © 2017, Los Angeles Times
79°