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. Often bio-plays are hellbent on filling the stage with theatrical bravado…but not here. The play pokes and probes into the distant recesses of the author’s thoughts.
Shuman ennobles his version of Williams with a kind of brittle grace. The actor manages to look very much like the writer, and his Southern accent is on the mark. More important, Shuman seems to get at the emotional essence of the playwright, which is an impressive accomplishment.