Saturday evening, I had the pleasure of getting to know Tennessee Williams -- not the real Tennessee Williams, of course, but the man as interpreted by actor/writer William Shuman, who presented his insightful solo show "En Avant! An Evening With Tennessee Williams" at Baruch College this weekend. Dressed in a white suit and blue shirt, Shuman led the audience through this remarkable playwright -- not unlike a grandfather reminiscing about his past to his grandkids. The simpl
Shuman makes no attempt to impersonate his subject. But he’s wearing Williams’ signature white suit and Panama hat. Our actor has a charming southern accent, evident but not intrusive. He drinks in a way reflecting sharp observation and never suggesting drunkenness. The set is beautiful. En Avant is one of the few plays that we’d like to see expanded, not because it needs to be fleshed out, but because we want more of a great thing. #SteveCapra #FringeFestival #TennesseeWill
Always credible, always in character and always entertaining, under the subtle direction of Ruis Woertendyke, Shuman’s portrait of Williams as a conflicted artist is a biography that grows on you as his story progresses. En Avant! is both persuasive and absorbing… By the end, Shuman has convinced you that you have met Williams and heard the most intimate and important details of his life.
William Shuman performs his one-man play exquisitely. He is dry-witted, quiet, yet still commanding. He takes on the persona of someone we sense we know well, yet he exposes a Williams that is, at times, quite new to us. Shuman’s version of Williams is human to a compelling fault, a man fully prepared to admit his failings, often at the cost of our appreciating his accomplishments. One of the lasting impressions left by this production is how intimate the evening feels. Oft