World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

Clothes for a Summer Hotel

Article Id: WHEBN0003972058
Reproduction Date:

Title: Clothes for a Summer Hotel  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Tennessee Williams, 1980 plays, Period of Adjustment, The Red Devil Battery Sign, Geraldine Page
Collection:
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Publication
Date:
 

Clothes for a Summer Hotel

First edition (publ. New Directions, 1983)

Clothes for a Summer Hotel is a 1980 play by Tennessee Williams about the relationship between novelist F. Scott Fitzgerald and his wife Zelda. A critical and commercial failure, it was Williams' last play to debut on Broadway during his lifetime. The play takes place over a one-day visit Scott pays the institutionalized Zelda at Highland Mental Hospital in Asheville, North Carolina, with a series of flashbacks to their marriage in the twenties. Williams began work in 1976 on what he envisioned as a "long play" about the Fitzgeralds (he eventually cut it down), and had Geraldine Page in mind to play Zelda from the start.[1]

Williams biographer Donald Spoto has argued that Scott's visit to Zelda was a "clear" representation of the playwright's frequent visits to his mentally incapacitated sister, Rose, in mental hospitals.[2] Williams himself admitted a close identification with Fitzgerald, saying, "At one point I went through a deep depression and heavy drinking. And I, too, have gone through a period of eclipse in public favor....[The Fitzgeralds] embody concerns of my own, the tortures of the creative artist in a materialist society....They were so close to the edge. I understood the schizophrenia and the thwarted ambition."[3]

After an unsuccessful out-of-town tryout in Washington, Clothes for a Summer Hotel opened at Broadway's Cort Theatre on March 26, 1980, with José Quintero directing and Page and Kenneth Haigh leading the cast. The play was interpreted by critics as a literal biography of the Fitzgeralds "that got its facts wrong" rather than a metaphorical play that alluded to Williams' life.[4] Walter Kerr of The New York Times even faulted the play for "the fact that Mr. Williams's personal voice is nowhere to be heard."[5] In addition to receiving poor critical notices, the play opened at the same time that New Yorkers were dealing with a heavy blizzard and a transit strike, and subsequently closed after fourteen performances.[6] As a result of the play's critical failure, Williams vowed that he would "never open a play in New York again....I can't get good press from the New York Times, and [critics] Harold Clurman, Brendan Gill and Jack Kroll hate me....I put too much of my heart in [my plays] to have them demolished by some querulous old aisle sitters."[7]

Footnotes

  1. ^ Spoto 1985, p. 329.
  2. ^ Spoto 1985, p. 339.
  3. ^ Spoto 1985, p. 345.
  4. ^ Dorff, Linda. "Collapsing Resurrection Mythologies: Theatricalist Discourses of Fire and Ash in Clothes for a Summer Hotel." In Gross, Robert F., Ed. (2002). Tennessee Williams: A Casebook. New York: Routledge.   p. 153.
  5. ^  
  6. ^ Spoto 1985, p. 344.
  7. ^ Wallis, Claudia (1980-08-18). "People". Time. Retrieved 2007-05-27. 

References

  •  

External links

This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and USA.gov, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for USA.gov and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
 
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
 
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.
 


Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from Project Gutenberg are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.