Marisa Tomei in Williamstown’s Rose Tattoo

This is the season for theatre lovers in Berkshire and the little town of Williamstown is bustling with their annual theatre festival. Broadway professionals come to the lime green lawns of Berkshire and exercise their talents at this festival. People from all over the world will come to watch how the famous director from New York, Trip Cullman, converts an old play into a play for the present day.

The summer festival kick starts with The Rose Tattoo, which is actually a 65-year old play that was originally directed by Tennessee Williams. Marisa Tomei is a famous and a vibrant actress who plays the lead, Serafina Delle Rose. 

The plot is very interesting. Serafina is a widow and her husband Rosario was a cheater. The rose tattoo is actually on the husband’s chest. Rosario never comes on stage but is so much in Serafina’s thoughts that the audience can see him through her eyes and mind. When he dies in a car accident, Serafina is devastated and mourns so loudly that everyone in town is upset by it. The town is upset not for her cries, but because they knew Rosario was a womanizer. Serafina is now sexually repressed and spends her days sewing for other women of the town.

This is the first half of the play where you see a robust, mournful Serafina in severe grief by the death of her husband. The second half is cheerful as another truck driver, Alvaro Mangiacavallo (played by Christopher Abbott) comes on scene.

He tries very hard to bring Serafina out of mourning and gets her sexually active again. He even goes to the extent of getting a rose tattoo on his chest and this trick actually works on Serafina!

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