SALT LAKE CITY — Tennessee Williams and the Battle, written and performed by Ryon Sharette, is a marvelous one-person show. The quality of the performance was extremely impressive, and having seen Sharette’s acting in The Romance of Wind and Fire, I knew he was going to be a treat to see in this show.
The set was just right for the time period of 1941. There was a nice wood desk and dresser, a swivel chair which Sharette’s Tennessee Williams relishes, and plenty of props in the room, including some beautiful antique lamps that provided the only light for the scene. The set made the show more intimate, and Tennessee even broke the fourth wall throughout, which added to the ambiance of the play. Tennessee’s attitude was that of a tired, sick, sad, and lonely man with so much emotion and thick, powerful ideas that he fought to release onto paper.
Sharette performed Tennessee’s personal love life and his philosophies on politics and the meaning of living and writing. Tennessee expressed his desire to die and to live almost in the same sentence. One of my favorite lines was about loneliness and how it makes sense for a lonely person to do his duty to find another lonely person to help solve the problem.
Sharette’s unique vocal inflections and the thoughtful deliberate way he spoke each word was immersive and genuine. There were so many times I laughed just at the way he said things, like when Tennessee mentioned going to find a sailor. I felt for Tennessee when he talked about humanity and the troubles of pride getting in the way of truth and art.
Tennessee Williams and the Battle is an amazing one-person show and a noble choice to see at the Fringe Festival. Sharette’s performance and writing brought Tennessee William’s and his philosophy to life in a beautiful, intimate way. Sharette makes his show worth seeing at the Fringe.