Editorials The Long Swim July 22, 1998 Share 1 -- Oh, and speaking of "Night of the Iguana": There's the interesting story of how it came to be set in Puerto Vallarta (the play as well as the movie is set there). Tennessee Williams originally set it on the Gulf Coast, somewhere in or near Veracruz. But at one point in the play, he has the protagonist (if you can call him that), the Reverend Shannon, announce that he's had it with life and that he's setting off on "the long swim to China." Of course, if he's headed for a Gulf Coast beach, this would make no sense, so Williams simply moved the ramshackle resort over to the west coast and the then Sleepy Little Fishing Village of Puerto Vallarta. Apparently the line "I'm going on the long swim to Tampa" did not satisfy the playwright's muse.