PEEKSKILL, NY—In a surprising casting decision that has drawn criticism from numerous members of local community theater The Old Mill Players, sources confirmed Wednesday that the role of Blanche DuBois in the company’s upcoming production of Tennessee Williams’ A Streetcar Named Desire has been given to none other than Kathy fucking Hamilton.
Reports indicated that, yes, you heard that correctly: The 41-year-old real estate agent and mother of three has, for some insane reason, been selected to portray what is, hands down, the 2014 season’s most challenging dramatic role. That’s right, accounts confirmed, we’re all supposed to sit back and believe that the woman whose past credits include Myrtle Mae Simmons in Harvey, Aunt Eller in Oklahoma!, and a handful of other bit parts is now poised to emerge from the wings and bear the full weight of the summer calendar’s most highly anticipated production, as if that’s not going to take some kind of goddamn miracle.
I mean, Jesus, sources added.
“When I heard they picked Kathy, I immediately thought, ‘You’ve got to be kidding me,’” said Old Mill set designer Ron Aiken, 51, who noted that while Hamilton is a serviceable ensemble member, director Gary Wheeler has completely lost his senses if he thinks she has what it takes to do justice to one of American theatre’s most iconic and complex heroines. “Could I see her as Eunice? Sure, why not? Kathy projects her voice, she’s passable in character roles, she’s got Stella’s boozy upstairs neighbor written all over her. But Blanche? An aging Southern belle whose refined air masks a fragile, desperate inner self? Come on, don’t make me laugh.”
“This is the same woman who flubs every other line and can never figure out what to do with her hands in any given scene, and you expect me to believe that she can carry a three-act?” Aiken continued. “I’d pay good money to see that, but I’m not holding my breath.”
Having beaten out seasoned Old Mill heavyweights Joanne Ludlow, Grace Pliner, and Joyce Pahr for the coveted spot, sources expressed their continued astonishment that Hamilton managed to walk away from last week’s casting call with anything more than a three-line role, let alone top fucking billing. Specifically, reports indicate that Hamilton simply doesn’t have the chops to handle a part like this, especially given her demonstrated difficulty getting her blocking down, her tendency to jump her cues, and, most crucially, the fact that her loud, maudlin overacting would make Tennessee Williams roll over in his goddamn grave.
Furthermore, Old Mill insiders speculated that Hamilton must have blown that audition out of the water, which is difficult to believe if you saw her chewing the scenery in Our Town last fall, a train wreck of a production that should have taught Gary once and for all that you don’t hand out marquee roles to supporting-cast talent.
Sources went on to add that if they’re being totally honest, Hamilton doesn’t exactly fit the character’s body type either.
“Can you honestly picture Kathy sharing the stage with Rick [Lesser]?” said Old Mill ensemble member Linda Cohen, 47, clarifying that Hamilton isn’t necessarily unattractive, but that at a big-boned 5’9”, she doesn’t exactly present the unique mixture of Dixie elegance and delicate vulnerability that ticket holders will expect to see come opening night. “Just look at the two of them—there’s no chemistry there. Plus, the audience has to believe that Blanche is physically intimidated by Stanley, which just isn’t going to work when you have Kathy Hamilton plodding around up there. No offense, but no one’s throwing her across the room any time soon.”
“I’m sorry, but she just isn’t going to be able to sell this one,” Cohen added. “Listen, if I wanted unconventional casting choices, I’d go to Theater With A Twist.”
Emphasizing that this is Streetcar, for Christ’s sake, numerous Old Mill ensemble members acknowledged that Hamilton had in the past showed promise in Cabaret and Hello, Dolly!, but noted that the actress’s singing and dancing abilities would not be called upon in her latest role because last time sources checked, there are no musical numbers in Streetcar. Moreover, several players questioned just what Hamilton thinks she’s doing tackling Southern Gothic in the first place.
Although, according to reports, if you’re going to throw Kathy Hamilton up there you might as well turn the poker scene into a big glitzy dance number, because God knows choreography’s the one thing she’s halfway decent at. Hell, sources added, why not have her serenade Mitch after their date while she’s at it?
Unbelievable, sources repeated. Fucking unbelievable.
“Here we go—it’s Picnic all over again,” Aiken said, referring to last spring’s debacle in which Marsha Horowitz singlehandedly scuttled a production of the William Inge drama when she was miscast as Miss Rosemary. “Marsha wasn’t even the lead, but she dragged down that whole production anyway—and she actually had some talent. Now we’ve got Kathy Hamilton ready to do the same thing to Streetcar in just eight weeks.”
“Look, Kathy is an okay actress, but she’s kidding herself if she thinks she’s spotlight material,” Aiken continued. “If I were her, I would gracefully drop out of this one and start gearing up for the Chicago auditions, but we all know that’s not happening. God, what a disaster.”
At press time, sources noted that they sure as shit weren’t looking forward to seeing what Peekskill Daily Voice arts writer Roger Quinn would have to say about this one.