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The Boston Globe

Theater & art

Stage Review

On Broadway, ‘Cat on a Hot Tin Roof’ is merely tepid

NEW YORK — Call it genius or call it commercial instinct: Tennessee Williams sure had a knack for catchy titles, and “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof’’ is one of his most memorable.

But the title character, Margaret, better known as Maggie the Cat, actually recedes from the action for large chunks of Williams’s 1955 drama. It presents a tricky challenge for any actress — one that Scarlett Johansson, who plays Maggie in the patchy Broadway revival that opened Thursday night at the Richard Rodgers Theatre, proves unable to meet.

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