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The Simpsons | Episode Guide | Season Four
A Streetcar Named Marge

Marge takes to the stage. But will it take to her?

Episode 8F18
Written by Jeff Martin
Directed by Rich Moore
Also starring: Maggie Roswell, Lona Williams
Special guest voices: Jon Lovitz (as Liewellyn Sinclair), Phil Hartman (as Lionel Hutz and Troy McClure)

Premise: Bored, Marge auditions for a part in Oh, Streetcar!, a musical version of Tennessee Williams' A Streetcar Named Desire directed by the eccentric Liewellyn Sinclair. Maggie meanwhile is enrolled at the Ayn Rand School for Tots, where her pacifier is confiscated.

Features: Patty, Selma, Grampa, Barney Gumble, Apu, Moe, Lionel Hutz, Ned Flanders, Helen Lovejoy, Otto Mans, Jasper, Chief Wiggum, Troy McClure, Herman.

Couch: The Simpsons rush in - to be gobbled up by a monstrous sofa.

Trivia:

  • The pageant judges are skin-care consultant Rowena, Syndicated Columnist William F. George, Token Black Panelist Dreaderick Tatum, and Mr Foswell, the Man Behind Those Infamous 'Worst Dressed' Lists.
  • The pageant is sponsored by Meryl Streep's perfume Versatility - 'Smell Like Streep, For Cheap!'

Homage: The musical production of Tennessee Williams' A Streetcar Named Desire resembles many others of its genre - but the title refers to the sixties revue Oh, Calcutta. There are sequences paying respect to The Italian Job (Peter Collinson, 1969), and in a spectacular fashion, Maggie re-creates the break-out from The Great Escape (John Sturges, 1963).

Best of all is the sequence with the room filled with eerily silent babies sucking on their pacifiers which parodies, music and all, The Birds (Alfred Hitchcock, 1963) - and is immediately followed by a cameo from its director. When Homer fans a shredded theatre programme he's copying a character from Citizen Kane. We also hear the first few lines of Janis Ian's angsty 1971 hit At Seventeen. Bart's cry of 'a pain in me gulliver' is yet another line from A Clockwork Orange.

Notes for Brits: The Ayn Rand Foundation is an American right-wing thinktank.

Look out for: Homer opening a tin of dessert - and our first sight of Ned Flanders' body.

Songs: Oh, Streetcar! contains such gems as New Orleans!, Simple Paperboy and The Kindness of Strangers.

Notes: A great episode, in which Marge can neither sing nor act but once stimulated by Homer's crass stupidity, learns at least to emote. Llewellyn Sinclair bears a strong resemblance to Jon Lovitz's character in the cartoon series The Critic. The ending is wonderful - just when you think Homer has let Marge down again, he comes up trumps.



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I Can't Believe It's a Bigger and Better Updated Unofficial Simpsons GuideThe information in this section is taken from 'I Can't Believe It's a Bigger and Better Updated Unofficial Simpsons Guide' by Warren Martyn and Adrian Wood, published by Virgin Books. Content © 2000 Warren Martyn and Adrian Wood.

The Simpsons TM & ©Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation. All rights reserved.



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