The Milk Train Doesn't Stop Here Anymore

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The Milk Train Doesn't Stop Here Anymore
First US production program
Written by Tennessee Williams
Date premiered 1963
Setting Italy

The Milk Train Doesn't Stop Here Anymore (1963) is a play written by Tennessee Williams.

It debuted at the Festival dei Due Mondi in Spoleto, Italy, in July 1962. Its first American production was in January 1963, starring Hermione Baddeley.[1] Reviews of the play were poor, but a newspapers strike prevented the tepid reviews from reaching audiences and the play ran for a modest 69 performances. Williams revised the script for a second production, giving it a kabuki framework, with two actors acting as stagehands commenting on the play as it happened. The rehatched production began on January 1964 at the Brooks Atkinson Theatre under the direction of Tony Richardson and starring Tallulah Bankhead (the part had originally been written for and was loosely based on Tallulah) and Tab Hunter, with Marian Seldes. It ran only 5 performances after again receiving very poor notices. Many critics felt that Bankhead's line readings, addled by age, drugs and alcohol, were unintelligible. The 2011 revival starring Olympia Dukakis was directed by Michael Wilson.[1]

In 1968, the play was adapted by Williams into the film Boom!, co-starring Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton, and directed by Joseph Losey. The film was a disastrous vehicle for both stars.


The play is set in Italy and centres on a dying, wealthy woman, Mrs Flora Goforth, who catches a young man, Christopher Flanders, allegedly trespassing on her estate. Dialogue between the two makes up much of the play. At the end Mrs Goforth dies after her long struggle with terminal illness.[2]


  1. ^ Isherwood, Charles. "Reaper Arrives? Grab a Kimono," The New York Times. January 30, 2011.
  2. ^ Taubman, Howard. "Tennessee Williams's 'Milk Train'," The New York Times. January 15, 1963.

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