Tennessee Rising

Jacob Storms portrays a young Tennessee Williams in Tennessee Rising at The Cell Theatre in Chelsea. Original photo by Ride Hamilton.
How accurate is Jacob Storms' portrayal of Tennessee Williams?

By Andrew Andrews

After countless failures to gain recognition for his work, Tom Williams fraudulently entered a contest under the pen name Tennessee to win a special award created just for him, leading to a Rockefeller Foundation grant and eventual notoriety as one of America's greatest playwrights.

In Tennessee Rising, a small audience sprawls across the patio behind The Cell Theatre as Tennessee himself recalls those formative years in a monologue that passes like a series of short visits over time, recounting important life events in locations that range from NOLA to St Louis, LA, Miami, Boston, Chicago and, of course, New York City.

After making his entrance with a drink in his hand and his shirt unbuttoned and untucked, Williams slowly dresses for his company as he speaks of his attempt to experience life and make ends meet before finally fulfilling his ambition.

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Andrew Andrews attended Tennessee Rising at The Cell Theatre Garden in New York on Sunday, April 25, 2021 @ 6:00pm to write this review.

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