Sweet Bird of Youth

Definition

Theater

  • A play by Tennessee Williams, first performed in 1959 at the Martin Beck Theatre, New York, in a production by Elia Kazan.Paul Newman created the role of Chance Wayne, while Geraldine Page won the New York Drama critics Award for Best actress with her performance as Princess Kosmonopolous. Brooks Atkinson described her characterization as "loose-jointed, gangling, raucous of voice, crumpled, shrewd, abandoned yet sensitive about some things that live in the heart". The two stars also appeared in the filmed version (1962).

    The story focuses on the Hollywood drifter Chance Wayne, who has become a gigolo to the ageing film star Princess Kosmonopolous. He now brings her to his home town of St Cloud, hoping to find Heavenly, the lost love of his youth.He does not realize that during his last visit he impregnated Heavenly, andthat her father, the local politician Boss Finlay, is set on revenge. When Chance hears the news, he refuses to leave with Princess despite threats. Boss Finlay and his henchmen had once castrated a Black man, and Chance now quietly awaits his fate.

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