CLOTA tackles Tennessee Williams classic

When the lights go up on the Community Light Opera and Theatre Association’s production of “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof” at the beginning of next month, its audience will be treated to one of the iconic dramas of the 20th century.

For nearly 60 years audiences have been powerfully drawn to the intertwined stories within this theatrical gem, and now the people of Ridgecrest can experience this famous drama when “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof” lands on its feet in Ridgecrest.

Opening night will be on Friday, March 1, at the CLOTA Center Stage, 1425 N. Inyo Rd.

All tickets are special-priced that evening at $8. Doors open at 7 p.m., and lights go up at 7:30.

Subsequent evening performances will take place March 2, 8, 9, 15 and 16. A Sunday matinee (also discounted to $8) is planned for Sunday, March 3, when doors will open at 1:30 p.m., lights-up at 2. Tickets for all performances will be on sale at Red Rock Books.

Regular prices are $12 general admission and $10 for seniors, students, enlisted active-duty military and CLOTA members. For more information call the CLOTA Hotline: 760-446-2411.

Written by Tennessee Williams, the Pulitzer Prize-winning play burst onto the stage in 1955 and accosted its audiences with themes of superficiality, greed, social mores, mendacity, decay, repression and death.

“Cat on a Hot Tin Roof,” Williams’ personal favorite, is set in the Mississippi Delta plantation home of Big Daddy Pollitt, a wealthy cotton tycoon.

The masterpiece is at heart pure character drama examining the complex relationships among members of Big Daddy’s family, primarily between his son Brick and Brick’s wife Maggie, the “Cat.”

Through the course of the play, Brick, Big Daddy and Maggie, as well as other family members, separately must face down the issues which they have bottled up inside.

The original Broadway cast included Barbara Bel Geddes as Maggie, Ben Gazzara as Brick and Burl Ives as Big Daddy.

The theatrical smash lead to the popular 1958 motion picture adaptation nominated for eight Academy Awards and starring Elizabeth Taylor and Paul Newman as Maggie and Brick.

“Cat on a Hot Tin Roof” has seen numerous successful revivals on stage, in film and on television including the current run on Broadway starring Scarlett Johansson as Maggie.

Story First Published: 2013-02-20