A Sound Bite from 'Streetcar'

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Marlon Brando and Jessica Tandy took to the stage 58 years ago for the Broadway premier of A Streetcar Named Desire. We hear the two actors in an excerpt from the legendary 1947 production of Tennessee Williams' play.


On this day in 1947, an audience at New York's Ethel Barrymore Theatre witnessed the Broadway premiere of what would later be voted the best play of the 20th century.

(Soundbite from "A Streetcar Named Desire")

Mr. MARLON BRANDO: (As Stanley Kowalski) Hi, Blanche.

Ms. JESSICA TANDY: (As Blanche DuBois) Here I am, all freshly bathed and scented and feeling like a brand-new human being.

ELLIOTT: Jessica Tandy was Blanche DuBois, the fallen and fading Southern bell created by Tennessee Williams in "A Streetcar Names Desire." Blanche travels to New Orleans to visit her sister, Stella, and her brute husband, Stanley Kowalski, played by the young and incredibly hot Marlon Brando.

(Soundbite from "A Streetcar Named Desire")

Mr. BRANDO: (As Kowalski) Blanche, in the state of Louisiana, there's such a thing as a Napoleonic Code, say, according to whatever belongs to my wife is also mine and vice versa.

Ms. TANDY: (As DuBois) Oh, cards on the table. Oh, that suits me. I know I fib a good deal. After all, a woman's charm is 50 percent illusion. When I think it's important, I tell the truth, and this is the truth: I haven't cheated my sister nor you or anyone else as long as I've lived.

Mr. BRANDO: (As Kowalski) All right. Where are the papers, in your trunk?

Ms. TANDY: (As DuBois) Everything I own is in that trunk.

ELLIOTT: After the show that opening night 58 years ago, theatergoers were stunned. After a moment of shocked silence, they clapped for 30 minutes.

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