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Handled With Care

The Alley carefully inspects all the fragile eggshell contours of Williams's Glass Menagerie

A powerful and unrelenting rhythm pulses throughout these scenes. The family is hysterically funny, especially when they fight, screaming, "Go to the moon" and "You ugly, babbling old witch" at each other. "Why can't my children be normal," sighs Amanda, and the audiences peals with laughter. She dresses herself in a funny purple chiffon frock (thanks to Judith Dolan's pitch-perfect costumes). But underneath all their comic charms, these four characters are burdened with the grief of a deep and abiding loneliness, the kind that comes from years of broken dreams and broken promises. In the end, they show us that we all need careful attention. For like Laura's frail menagerie of beautiful blown glass, lives and happiness "break so easily."

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