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A Streetcar Named Desire Tennessee Williams's timeless classic receives an especially dramatic push from Playhouse 1960's stirring rendition. This beautifully wrought drama, with its theatrically thrilling archetypal characters — illusion-obsessed Blanche DuBois (Ananka Kohnitz) and the ultimate illusion-destroyer, Stanley Kowalski (Andrew Adams) — blazes with pitch-perfect emotion and that searing dramatic poetry for which Williams is justly famous. Kohnitz and Adams supply everything Williams imagined in these two conflicting forces. Underneath Blanche's wilting-magnolia facade, Kohnitz provides a desperate, bristling spine and more than a whiff of eroticism. We realize right away why Blanche was such a live wire at the Tarantula Arms and was run out of town. But by escaping her past, she blindly runs right into the path of brutal Stanley, whose unyielding animal instincts overpower her. No actor on earth can overshadow the über-male young Brando in the role, but Adams, mimicking Brando's voice, is highly credible as the vibrant, violent life force he represents. Chuck Houston, playing Mitch, Blanche's last chance for happiness, gives an everyday-guy character a heartbreaking interior, while Elizabeth Thompson, as Stanley's forbearing wife Stella, exudes an earthy sexiness that every so often can overpower even the likes of macho, selfish Stanley. Firmly directed by Lisa Garza, Williams's harrowing, but most sublime, drama comes fully, satisfyingly, to life. Through October 27. 6814 Gant Road, 281-58-STAGE. — DLG

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