In the Bar of a Tokyo Hotel

Tennessee Williams's 1969 one-act drama "In the Bar of a Tokyo Hotel" is not an easy play to like—or do. This portrait of a once-great painter at the end of his artistic rope and his sexually voracious, casually adulterous wife is, as Clive Barnes' New York Times review of the original Off-Broadway production put it, "almost too personal, and as a result too painful, to be seen in the cold light of public scrutiny." So it's a tribute to actor-directors Charles Schick and Regina Bartkoff that they have largely pulled off this metaphorical interior battle for an artist's soul. Watching their knowing production deep in Alphabet City at the tiny 292 Theatre (only two rows of 11 seats, with the first consisting of floor cushions), I thought to myself, This is what it must have been like on a good night at the Caffe Cino. (Erik Haagensen, Backstage, 2012)