The place is a rooming house in the French Quarter of New Orleans, the time the late Thirties. As narrated by The Writer, a young man recently arrived from St. Louis, the action is concerned with interlocking lives of the various residents: a tubercular, homosexual painter; a doomed young girl and her coarse lover; two aging "ladies" living in near poverty; and the eccentric irrepressible landlady, who veers from cruelty to sentiment in her treatment of her charges. Filled with evocative memories, and sharply etched portraits of its singular characters, the play centers first on The Writer, and his seduction by The Painter; and then probes into the fateful love of the young girl for her stud—she dying of leukemia, and he torn between his debt to her and his urge to escape the consequences of her condition. It is a play of echoes and remembrances, a series of engrossing scenes, sometimes brutally candid sometimes delicately poetic, which are woven together into a rich and revealing tapestry, glinting with theatricality and throbbing with the feel of life.
"Filled with poetic insights and engrossing character studies, this haunting memory play, as produced on Broadway, marked a return by the author to the style and substance of his early masterpieces...Vieux Carré ranks with his finest, and surely his most candid works...a late new flowering of the author's genius." — New York Daily News
"Williams has always been frightfully honest, speaking from the heart with the unmistakable voice of an artist. We are lucky indeed to have so magnificent a poet in our midst." — New York Post
"…the murmurings of genius…an authentic voice of the twentieth-century theatre." — The New York Times