« Saved by the Snake | Main | Dogville »

Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?


Until Friday, I had never seen Edward Albee's Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf. (Or rather, as the playbill has it, Edward Albee's Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf. Oh that "Who's Afraid...") I've seen the film adaptation, of course; I even own a DVD of it - as of yet unwatched - so I was familiar with the unpleasant story, and that was not a draw. Kathleen Turner and Bill Irwin were the draw. There are three great big revivals on Broadway right now - this one and two plays by Tennessee Williams - and when it came time some months ago to decide which one to see I picked this one. Kathleen Turner has made some great movies, but she is a force of nature on stage. Bill Irwin, of course, is our most celebrated mime. Getting older, perhaps, and wishing to stay on stage without attempting increasingly painful acrobatics, Mr Irwin has taken up acting with his voice, and this is his second Albee production on Broadway. (In the first, he succeeded Bill Pullman in The Goat: or Who Is Sylvia.) A lithe man and not a large one, the actor can easily trick you into thinking that his George really is what Martha calls him at the very start - a "cluck." Anyway, that's why we went to see Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf.

Now, sometimes when you go to the theatre on the strength of such calculations - "X is a great stage actor" in this case; but it could just as easily be any other aspect of a production that drew you, and doubtless there are those who simply don't miss shows with sets by John Lee Beatty, or costumes by Jane Greenwood, or lighting by Peter Kaczorowski (all doing excellent work at the Longacre) - you can be disappointed, but more often, I find, you get exactly what you pay for - in this case, the satisfaction of watching Kathleen Turner and Bill Irwin take possession of the stage. And that's all you get. But in this case, there was a lot more on offer. There was, to begin with....

Continue reading about Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf at Portico.


TrackBack URL for this entry:

I am a kottke.org micropatron

Powered by
Movable Type 3.2