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This show closed on December 8, 2019

About The Rose Tattoo

This is one Tennessee Williams woman you won’t soon forget. Academy Award winner Marisa Tomei unleashes a tour de force as Serafina, a widow who rekindles her desire for love, lust and life in the arms of a fiery suitor. Sharply directed by Trip Cullman (Significant Other), Williams’s lesser-known gem sizzles with humor and heart in sultry New Orleans.

Don’t miss Tomei’s quintessential performance — erupting from the depths of despair to the heights of passion in this Tony Award-winning Best Play.

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Tennessee Williams is, of course, regarded as one of the greatest American playwrights to ever live. However, Williams’s “The Rose Tattoo” still might not be familiar to even the staunchest of theatergoers. That changes with this production, which brings Academy Award winner Marisa Tomei back to Broadway for her first stint since 2014. Under the direction of Trip Cullman (his fifth New York City stage show of the year!), the Roundabout Theatre Company production plays a limited engagement at the American Airlines Theatre.

The play debuted in 1951, and this will be the fourth time the play will be produced on Broadway. The sizzling tale is one of a femme fatale turned inside out, in which a widow rekindles her lust for lust in bygone New Orleans. It is not, however, a one-woman show and in fact features an ensemble cast of 18, which will include Andrea Burns, Greg Hildredth, and more.

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What To Watch For

  • Marisa Tomei reprises her role in this production of “The Rose Tattoo” following the sultry run at Williamstown Theater Festival in 2016. The New York Times called her subversive performance as Serafina Delle Rose demonstrative of “an actor capable of unleashing all the pain and passion that define this lively if not always lovable character.”
  • “The Rose Tattoo” has a sterling reputation — literally. For its original Broadway production in 1951 it was nominated for four Tony Awards: featured actor and actress in a play, respectively, scenic design, and best play itself. It walked away with all four trophies.
  • What renders as lewd today is very different than what was considered gauche back in the day; specifically, back in 1957. It was that year wherein an Irish production of “The Rose Tattoo” caused major controversy (the “lewd” act in question was a condom falling out of a character’s pocket at one point). Police invaded the theater and arrested the director — not an ideal audience reception!
  • Although it is one of Tennesee Williams’ lesser-known and lesser-produced plays, “The Rose Tattoo” was prominent enough to be adapted for the big screen a few years after its stage debut. Williams adapted the film himself along with Hal Kanter, and it starred the Italian actress Anna Magnani, for whom Williams had actually originally written the role but who had turned down the offer due to her imperfect grasp of English at the time. (She went on to win an Oscar for the film version.)

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Run Time

2hr 30min (incl. intermission)

Start Date

End Date

“A paean to the restorative power of sexual attraction.”
Ben Brantley, The New York Times
“Marisa Tomei gives a funny, feisty star turn – hypnotic, sensually charged, and irresistibly charming.”
Rex Reed, Observer
“There is so much chemistry and heat, you half expect the stage to catch fire.”
Roma Torre, NY1

American Airlines Theatre

227 West 42nd Street, New York, NY 10036

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