You worry for the ashes of Rosario, Serafina’s (Marisa Tomei) husband in The Rose Tattoo. They stand precariously on a shelf for almost the entire duration of Tennessee Williams’ little-known 1951 play.
The shelf is part of an L-shaped tangle of candles and tchotchkes that form a flickering central sculpture of Mark Wendland’s set in this Roundabout Theatre Company production, which opens at Broadway’s American Airlines Theatre on Tuesday night (to Dec. 8).
This is a play, set in 1950 in a village somewhere along the Gulf Coast between New Orleans and Mobile, running at a gallop. When tragedy comes, it comes with shouting, gales of tears, and catatonia, and when it’s funny the play makes you laugh—a lot. Children run in and out across the stage, and characters make dramatic entrances and exits on a runway spanning the front of the stage, stretching to the left flank of the theater.
The play, directed…