Pitched forward with excitement, her hands fluttering and heart palpitating, Alma, the heroine of Tennessee Williams's “Eccentricities of a Nightingale,” seems animated by some inner flame. The unwed daughter of an Episcopalian priest, Alma (Mary Bacon) doesn't much resemble stereotypes of the dried-up spinster. The moment Tina Brock arrives on stage in The Eccentricities of a Nightingale, the world—to quote another play by Tennessee Williams—is lit. The phrase "summer and smoke" probably comes from the Hart Crane poem "Emblems of Conduct" in the collection White Buildings. In , Williams revised the play as The Eccentricities of a Nightingale.


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She has chosen loneliness, isolation and ignominy over the hypocrisy of commonplace behavior. The actor registers all of this through a combination of remarkable vocal technique and a measured use eccentricities of a nightingale exaggeration in her movement and deportment.

The son of a town physician, John has himself just graduated from medical school and faces a promising future.

John's mother is clingingly protective of her son. She does not want him to become involved with Alma, whose feelings for John are all-too-apparent, due to the eccentricities of her eccentricities of a nightingale and due to certain unhappy events in Alma's family background developed during the course of the drama.

The Eccentricities of a Nightingale by Tennessee Williams

It is not only Mrs. Buchanan who has concerns over Alma's eccentricities.


Alma's aging father, the Reverend Winemiller, has a long serious talk with his daughter about her emotional mannerisms when singing in public, about her intellectual and cultural interests, which separate her from most of the other people in Glorious Hill, and about her habit of feeding the birds daily in the town square.

She acts too interested in small talk with her neighbor, the eccentricities of a nightingale Dr. John Buchanan Todd Gearhart.

The Eccentricities of a Nightingale – Variety

She makes Alma exhausting, eccentricities of a nightingale as she should be. Slowly, though, Williams and Bacon reveal a woman beneath the mannerisms. First, the scribe evokes sympathy, eccentricities of a nightingale the entire cosmos is designed to warp a gentle soul.

In the final scene, Alma accosts a young traveling salesman at dusk in the town park; and, as the curtain falls, she follows him off to enjoy the "after-dark entertainment" at Moon Lake Casino, where she had resisted Buchanan's attempt to seduce her the summer before.

The Eccentricities of a Nightingale – Tennessee Williams Review | CultureVulture

The play ran for performances and, at the time, represented a downturn in popularity for Williams following his successful previous play, A Streetcar Named Desireeven though it explored similar themes. Her legendary performance is credited with the beginning of the Off-Broadway movement, putting eccentricities of a nightingale herself and Quintero on the map and vindicating the play itself.


Page starred in an hour-long adaptation of the play on the radio series Best Plays in opposite Richard Kiley recordings of eccentricities of a nightingale still exist. Whether Williams wanted something quite this heightened is debatable.

The gang at IRC makes it work.

Eccentricities of a Nightingale

This is a delightful but idiosyncratic production. Trust me, though—when Tina Brock takes to the stage, brilliance is never far away.

Eccentricities of a Nightingale plays through September