In honor of Tennessee Williams' centennial birthday, South Camden Theatre Company's season celebrates all things Williams, commencing the festivities with his exercise in self-flagellation, Suddenly, Last Summer. The play, fleshed out - so to speak - by Williams and Gore Vidal in a 1959 film, starring Katharine Hepburn, Elizabeth Taylor and Montgomery Clift, really consists of two monologues, supported at key moments by other players.
Those monologues sure give a gal a chance to show off, and in this production, directed at a rolling boil by Connie Norwood, in Robert Bingaman's lush garden set, the gals - steel magnolia Violet Venable (Lee Kiszonas) and her fiery, fragile niece Catherine (Emily Letts) - tear each other apart with a well-matched, carnivorous fury. Appropriate, considering the drama's gothic climax. Of course, Violet's beloved adult son Sebastian didn't survive his summer abroad with Catherine, and so we're left with two wildly diverging accounts of his late "poetic" character, culminating in Catherine's memory of Sebastian's final day, a day so horrible Violet aims to have it ripped from her niece's brain via lobotomy.