The Rose Tattoo

Roundabout Theatre Company revives Tennessee Williams' The Rose Tattoo at American Airlines Theatre, starring Marisa Tomei. Image based on originals by Matúš Petrila and Raven3K from FreeImages.com.
Does a wall of jumbotrons make this politically-incorrect tale suitable for a modern audience?

By Andrew Andrews

Tennessee Williams wrote The Rose Tattoo nearly seventy years ago, in an age when it was considered acceptable to make fun of immigrants as unsophisticated, ill-mannered savages.

Somewhere along the coast of the Gulf of Mexico, Sicilian-American Serafina Delle Rose withdraws from society after her husband is shot dead while smuggling unspecified contraband in his banana truck.

Meanwhile, her fifteen-year old daughter, Rosa, is coming of age and wants nothing to do with her overzealous mother or her reclusive behavior.

Lead by the matronly Assunta, the black-cloaked women of town form an almost operatic chorus, trying to draw Serafina out of her shell, withholding widespread knowledge that her deceased husband had been having an affair with a local blackjack dealer named Estelle.

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Andrew Andrews attended The Rose Tattoo at American Airlines Theatre in New York on Tuesday, October 29, 2019 @ 7:00pm to write this review.

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