ROBIN’S SHOW RECOMMENDATION: Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?
Edward Albee’s Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? opened on October 13th at the Booth Theatre (222 West 45th Street), exactly 50 years to the day of the play’s original Broadway opened on October 13, 1962.
This is the Steppenwolf Theatre Company’s production, directed by Tony Award nominee Pam MacKinnon (Clybourne Park), and featuring the original Steppenwolf cast led by Tracy Letts and Amy Morton, respectively, the playwright and the star of the Pulitzer and Tony Award-winning smash hit August: Osage County. The two face off as George and Martha, one of theatre’s most notoriously dysfunctional couples in Albee’s funny and provocative masterpiece. They are joined by Carrie Coon and Madison Dirks, both making their Broadway debuts, as the unwitting young couple, Honey and Nick, invited over to academic George and his faculty wife Martha’s for an unforgettable night of cocktails and crossfire.
Letts and Morton are quite a match for each other, digging emotionally deep, particularly when raging, teasing or tormenting each other verbally and physically and their guests who had no clue what they were stepping into. The performances are magnetic, and it’s such a powerful piece of theatre, that it packs a punch on many levels. Letts, particularly, commands your attention. From his body language to small facial gestures to manner of speech, you can’t take your eyes off him.
As a blogger for MotherhoodLater.com, there are some revelations (I don’t want to spill the beans) related to parenting that provide both sadness and shock value.
This production of Edward Albee’s Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? originally ran at Chicago’s Steppenwolf Theatre Company from December 2, 2010 – February 13, 2011 before transferring to Washington, D.C.’s Arena Stage, where it ran from February 25 – April 10, 2011.
The Broadway production also features the original Steppenwolf creative team: Todd Rosenthal (set design), Nan Cibula-Jenkins (costume design), Allen Lee Hughes (light design) and Rob Milburn and Michael Bodeen (sound design).
Edward Albee’s Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? is presented on Broadway by Jeffrey Richards, Jerry Frankel, Susan Quint Gallin, Mary Lu Roffe, Kit Seidel, Amy Danis & Mark Johannes, Patty Baker, Mark S. Golub & David S. Golub, Richard Gross, Jam Theatricals, Cheryl Lachowicz, Michael Palitz, Dramatic Forces/Angelina Fiordellisi, Luigi Caiola & Rose Caiola, Ken Greiner, Kathleen K. Johnson, Kirmser Ponturo Fund, Will Trice, and GFour Productions. Richards and Frankel previously teamed up with Steppenwolf (Artistic Director Martha Lavey and Executive Director David Hawkanson) to present ensemble member Tracy Letts’ Tony and Pulitzer Prize-winning production of August: Osage County and Superior Donuts on Broadway.
EDWARD ALBEE (Playwright) was born on March 12, 1928, and began writing plays 30 years later. His plays include The Zoo Story (1958); The Death of Bessie Smith (1959); The Sandbox (1959); The American Dream (1960); Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (1961-62, Tony Award); Tiny Alice (1964); A Delicate Balance (1966, Pulitzer Prize, 1966 Tony Award); All Over (1971); Seascape (1974, Pulitzer Prize); Listening (1975); Counting the Ways (1975); The Lady From Dubuque (1977-78); The Man Who Had Three Arms (1981); Finding the Sun (1982); Marriage Play (1986-87); Three Tall Women (1991, Pulitzer Prize); Fragments (1993); The Play About the Baby (1997); The Goat, or Who Is Sylvia? (2000, 2002 Tony Award); Occupant (2001); and At Home At the Zoo: (Act 1, Homelife; Act 2, The Zoo Story.) (2004); Me, Myself and I (2010). He is a member of the Dramatists Guild Council and president of the Edward F. Albee Foundation. Mr. Albee was awarded the Gold Medal in Drama from the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters in 1980. In 1996 he received the Kennedy Center Honors and the National Medal of Arts. In 2005 he was awarded a Lifetime Achievement Tony Award.