Cat on a Hot Tin Roof

The Pulitzer Prize-winning Tennessee Williams play is a saga of death, deceit and desire. It stars Robert Anthony Peters and Sara Jackson, above, as well as Roger Owen and Cynthia Jeffery.

Major dysfunction takes place on the Roadrunner Theatre stage over the next few weeks.

Also, brilliance: It’s Tennessee Williams’ “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof.”

The Pulitzer Prize-winning play was first staged in 1955, but it is ageless.

The story takes place at the family’s rambling Mississippi estate.

Brick and his wife, Maggie, are holed up there. He is hobbled on cruthces: in an attempt to relive his high school glory days, broke an ankle trying a high jump.

Also at the estate are the patriarch, Big Daddy, and his wife, Big Mama, who live there. And Brick’s brother, Gooper, his wife, Mae, and their own gaggle of children, whom the childless Maggie calls “no-neck monsters.”

Big Daddy is dying of cancer, though the doctors have been lying to him and his wife about that.

The central tale follows the alcoholic Brick and Maggie. She is caught in a loveless marriage; Brick, who began drinking when his friend Skipper committed suicide, has no interest in sleeping with her — his love is for Skipper, and that is a serious source of fear and shame to him.

The play takes place over one evening, Big Daddy’s birthday. It is a night the family must face life, death, the past, the future and the lies that have informed their lives. Williams’ play tackles greed, mendacity, social mores in the South and homophobia, which was rampant when the play was first staged.

Directing is Mark Klugheit, and the cast is led by Cynthia Jeffery, Roger Owen, Robert Anthony Peters and Sara Jackson. Performances are 7 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, and 2 p.m. Sundays Jan. 11-19 and Feb. 1-3 at Roadrunner, 8892 E. Tanque Verde Road. The cast moves over to the Cabaret Theatre at the Temple of Music and Art, 330 S. Scott Ave., for performances at 7:30 p.m Jan. 24-26 and 2:30 p.m. Jan. 26-27.

Tickets are $20, with discounts available. It runs 2½ hours, with two intermissions.

For more information, head to roadrunnertheatrecompany.org/coahtr or call 207-2491.

Contact reporter Kathleen Allen at kallen@tucson.com or 573-4128. On Twitter: @kallenStar

Reporter

Kathleen has covered the arts for the Star for 20 years. Previously, she covered business, news and features for the Tucson Citizen. A near-native of Tucson, she is continually amazed about the Old Pueblo's arts scene and feels lucky to be covering it.