Whether you’re familiar with playwright Tennessee Williams or not, you’ll want to catch a creative cabaret show that takes its inspiration from his works including Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, A Streetcar Named Desire, and The Glass Menagerie.

Photo credit: TWStL

By Peg Cameron Gill

The organization Tennessee Williams St. Louis (TWStL) is dedicated to enriching the cultural life of St. Louis by producing an annual theater festival and other artistic and educational events that celebrate the art and influence of famed onetime St. Louis resident Tennessee Williams.

On May 31, The TWStL is delighted to bring The Brass Menagerie to audiences in the St. Louis area. This creative cabaret show is a campy romp through the female characters of Tennessee Williams’ works … in SONG! The Bistro Awards, which honor the best in cabaret and jazz performance called the show, “A beautifully realized piece of work” when awarding it a 2022 Bistro Award.

In this very inventive imagining, the show features some of Williams’ most famous females – Blanche DuBois, Maggie the Cat, and The Glass Menagerie’s Wingfields – singing through their plays. Accomplished performer, playwright, and composer/lyricist Amy Jo Jackson is here to bring all of the charm, vivacity, and spirited sass the South demands of these iconic characters. 

Whether you’re familiar with the works of Williams or not, you’ll enjoy this ridiculous romp of a concert, taking you through his plays such as A Streetcar Named Desire, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, Summer and Smoke, The Rose Tattoo, and many more, mashed up with the classic songs of the musical theater repetoire. 

With Brian Nash on the keys, prepare yourselves for an evening of strong drinks, strong accents, and even stronger choices.

 Amy Jo Jackson is the recipient of a 2023 EST/Sloan Commission for Grace/Bliss, and was a 2022 finalist for the Jonathan Larson Grant. Jackson’s original musical Hatchetation was one of two selected for the National Music Theater Conference at the Eugene O’Neill Theater Center in 2021, and has also been developed through She-Collective, Untitled Musical Project, and Fresh Ground Pepper’s PAL program. Her acclaimed solo cabaret The Brass Menagerie was commissioned in 2019 by the Denovan Fellowship in Cabaret. 

She holds a BFA from Boston Conservatory.

Don’t miss The Brass Menagerie starring Amy Jo Jackson May 31-June 1 at 7:30 PM at The Curtain Call Lounge in St. Louis.

*The May 31st performance is a fundraiser for TWStL.

 See the performance schedule and ticket information here.

About Tennessee Williams: Born Thomas Lanier Williams III in 1911 in Mississippi, Williams moved to St. Louis at age seven, when his father was made an executive with the International Shoe Company.

He lived there for more than two decades, attending Washington University, working at the International Shoe Company, and producing his first plays at local theaters. He credited his sometimes-difficult experiences in St. Louis for the deeply felt poetic essence that permeates his artistry. When asked later in life when he left St. Louis, he replied, “I never really left.” 

In addition to his most famous works that garnered multiple Pulitzer Prizes, Tony Awards, and Academy Awards, he wrote hundreds of additional plays, stories, essays, and poems, many of which are only now seeing the light of day as his estate permits greater access. 

Today Williams is considered by many leading authorities to be one of America’s greatest playwrights.

Click here to learn about a St. Louis literacy and arts center dedicated to supporting writers – maybe even the next Tennessee Williams!

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