We are now not quite a week and a half from the opening of Girl Friday's production of Camino Real by Tennessee Williams (see www.girlfridayproductions.org if you're in the Twin Cities and interested); it's a pretty amazing, but very complex show--I think I called it "poetic surrealism" in a conversation, as opposed to Williams's earlier plays, which I called "poetic realism"--and the director, actors, designers are all doing a remarkable job. The play combines historic and literary characters with ones created by the playwright, all enmeshed in a sort of limbo/purgatory that is a semi-military state. So it's about politics and art and life and death and love and dreams. It encompasses multiple stories and a more-or-less linear narrative within a circular one: it works with dream logic rather than traditional rational thought. The further we explore it, the more intrigued I am. While it was written in 1953, during the post-warm boom years in the U.S., which were also the years of anti-communist hysteria, its concerns seems oddly relevant sixty years later. One of the characters, the Baron de Charlus, from Proust's A la recherche du temps perdu, represents some aspect of homosexual experience (I don't think "gay" was a current term at the time of the play--and certainly not at the time of the novel), which was considered very daring at the time. Early reviews were not especially kind, though some did appreciate what Williams was attempting. It has made me want to look at some of his later work, which followed more in the footsteps of this play that of those that were more successful (and which are still more often produced). I really look forward to seeing it all come together.