While a room full of senior citizens might not be your idea of fun, “A House Not Meant to Stand” deserves your attention. Tennessee Williams’ final play is playing at the Fountain Theatre in its West Coast premiere in celebration of the playwright’s birth 100 years ago, March 26, 1911.

The play follows Bella McCorkle (Sandy Martin) whose son’s death serves as the catalyst that worsens and magnifies her dementia, which her family and friends must witness and deal with under one roof.

Showing no signs of ambition, Bella’s other son Charlie (Daniel Billet) can’t hold a job and has plans for a shotgun wedding to Stacey (Virginia Newcomb). Bella’s husband Cornelius (Alan Blumenfeld) is a tired old man who has no interest in seeing Bella through her worst days.

What this play has to offer is authenticity. While it’s difficult to watch, most of us have grandparents or great aunts and uncles who are likely showing signs of dementia. Williams’ script proves, as always, to encompass great depth, drive and direction. If topics like these are difficult, you will find “A House Not Meant to Stand” to be therapeutic, at the very least.

Martin is unbelievable as Bella and serves as the glue for the solid foundation of this masterpiece. Also fantastic is the set design. At first glance, it might appear to be your average 1982 Mississippi home, but on further glance multimedia images are creatively exhibited on a scrim. The set alone is almost worth the price of admission.



Fountain Theatre is located at 5060 Fountain Ave., Los Angeles. For more information, visit fountaintheatre.com.