The Night of the Iguana [Acting Edition] (Paperback)
8 men, 6 women: 14 total
Premiered on Broadway in 1961.
John McClain's outline of "Within the brokendown environs of a cheap Mexican resort hotel [Williams] has created a mood of pervading loneliness and despair as intrusive as the Equinoxial storm that stirs sudden lightning flashes and gushes through the tattered room. The desolation, the emptiness are in his people: the tough, sex-starved widow who runs the hotel; the neurotic, defrocked minister, and the gentle maiden lady from New England. Thrown together in this squalid setting their human needs become explicit, and from their conflicts comes the realization that life must be endured, and that the spirit will somehow survive even beyond the limits of anguish. Mr. Williams veers off in many philosophic directions in this searing pastorale, but he is chiefly concerned with the relationship of the Reverend T. Lawrence Shannon and Miss Hannah Jelkes, the sad, fortyish lady who travels the world with her grandfather ('the oldest practicing poet in the world'), painting quick portraits, for a fee, while the nonagenarian recites poetry to hotel guests. Rev. Shannon, having been relieved of his cloth for sexual irregularities, has landed at the Costa Verde hotel, near Acapulco, on the verge of one of his periodic mental breakdowns. The proprietress, an old friend, is prepared to offer him a bed and will, in fact, share it with him if he wishes. But then Miss Jelkes and her grandpa arrive, penniless but prepared to offer their services to the guests in return for lodging. There is a strange and immediate rapport between the discredited cleric and the lonely artist. The play's most poignant moments—scenes of enormous compassion—grow out of the understanding of these two people, their mutual need for companionship and roots, their final moments of nobility in small gestures of unselfishness to aid one another."
"…an awesome and powerful new drama." —NY World Telegram & Sun.
"…Williams' most mature work." —NY Daily News.
"…the most fruitful and versatile exercise by our best living playwright." —NY Journal-American.
"…Tennessee Williams at the top of his form." —NY Times.