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Archive for Edward Albee

ALBEE/PINTER at Pacific Resident Theatre

Anthony Foux and Jason Downs. Photo by Myrna Gawryn.

Anthony Foux and Jason Downs. Photo by Myrna Gawryn.

Deborah Klugman – Stage Raw

In 1960, Edward Albee and Harold Pinter were young playwrights whose work challenged theatrical convention and the expectations of critics and audiences. Both Albee’s brief two-hander, Fam and Yam, and Pinter’s lengthier one-act, The Dumb Waiter, received English language premieres that year — Albee’s at the Music Box Theatre on Broadway and Pinter’s at the Hampstead Theatre Club in London.

Different in style and substance, each nonetheless harbors the influence of Samuel Beckett and an absurdist perspective which posits the human experience as, at best, uneasy, uncertain and unsettling. Read more…

Through February 5


Photo by Jeff Lorch

Photo by Jeff Lorch

Terry Morgan  -  Artsbeat LA

Bitchiness, thy name is Albee. Has there ever been a play that reveled in so much in mean-spirited badinage as Edward Albee’s Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? Sour wit courses through the blackened veins of this show like acidic blood, or more specifically like the booze the characters actively embalm themselves with.  Read more…

Jonas Schwartz-Owen – Theatermania

Edward Albee’s classic Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? exposes the crud hidden behind the closed doors of American households between Eisenhower’s cheery post-war tranquility and John F. Kennedy’s focus-on-the-future optimism. No couple performs an S&M act, even without whips and chains, as depraved as George and Martha. Reveling in the play’s bitterness and booze, Zachary Quinto and Calista Flockhart make a cruel twosome in this harrowing and darkly hilarious production at the Geffen Playhouse. Read more…

Peter Debruge – Variety

The trick of stage acting comes in playing the same thing every night as if it were happening for the first time, right there in front of the audience’s eyes. But once-controversial American classic “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?” calls for something different. Edward Albee wrote a play in which we get to observe the latest round in a cruel and competitive game of escalating insults between career-stalled history professor George and Martha, the wife who makes vicious sport of her disappointment. Read more…

Harker Jones – BroadwayWorld

Edward Albee’s Tony Award-winning play about discontent and despair in 1960s academia is brought to blazing, blistering life by director Gordon Greenberg at The Geffen Playhouse, its themes and anxieties as relevant as ever on its 60th anniversary. Read more…

Now running through May 29

AT HOME AT THE ZOO at the Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts

Zoo Story

Photo by Kevin Parry

Neal Weaver  – Stage Raw

As the story goes, someone — a friend, a roommate or a lover — said to Mr. Albee, “Edward, you will be thirty years old tomorrow, and you don’t have a damn thing to show for it.” Stung by this comment, Albee sat down and, overnight, wrote a long one-act about a volatile encounter between two men — a complacent middle class guy named Peter, and an impoverished eccentric named Jerry, on a bench in Central Park. Read more…

Erin Conley – On Stage & Screen

“Do you want to know what happened at the zoo?” If you do, make your way to the Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts, home to the new Deaf West production of Edward Albee’s At Home at the Zoo—although be warned, the actual answer to that question is far from the point of the piece. Read more…

Now running through April 2

THE PLAY ABOUT THE BABY at The Road Theatre on Magnolia

Photo by Michele Young

Photo by Michele Young

Neal Weaver  – Stage Raw

As I was driving to The Road Theatre to see this Edward Albee play, the radio news announced that Albee had died earlier in the day, at the age of 88. At the theatre, director Andre Barron informed the crowd in the lobby that Albee had passed away. There was a murmur of sadness, but neither the crowd nor the actors were willing to let Albee’s death throw a wet blanket on his play’s rich comedy. Read more…

Now running through November 5

THE GOAT OR, WHO IS SYLVIA? AT THE LGBT Center’s Davidson/Valentini Theatre

Photo by Michael Lamont

Photo by Michael Lamont

Pauline Adamek  – ArtsBeatLA

Ann Noble gives a magnificent performance in Edward Albee’s absurd drama The Goat or, Who Is Sylvia?, now playing at the Los Angeles LGBT Center’s Davidson/Valentini Theatre.

Ostensibly a study of the irreparable destruction of a perfect marriage, Albee softens us up with his dry humor and jokey lines swirling around a premise, and then charts the disintegration.

Les Spindle –  Frontiers L.A.

Though “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?” is generally considered Edward Albee’s masterpiece, his 2002 scorcher “The Goat or, Who is Sylvia?” is a galvanizing work of timeless resonance. In a taut 90 minutes, Albee’s pitch-black comedy explores taboos of sexuality to challenge our notions of morality and social acceptance.

There’s sharp relevance to gay social issues, alongside far more expansive implications. A seemingly idyllic yuppie household implodes when architect Martin (Paul Witten) admits he is having a most unusual extramarital affair, sending his sophisticated and upbeat wife, Stevie (Ann Noble), and gay teenage son (Spencer Morrissey) into emotional tailspins.
Meanwhile his meddlesome best friend, Ross (Matt Kirkwood), is flabbergasted. Noble’s explosive performance is shattering, and Witten matches her brilliance with his multi-shaded portrayal while Morrissey and Kirkwood offer excellent support. The design effort is exemplary. The LGBT Center’s mesmerizing rendition, astutely produced by Jon Imparato, shimmers with intelligence, daring and artistry.

Deborah Klugman – Stage Raw

Edward Albee meant it literally when he subtitled The Goat or, Who is Sylvia as “notes towards a definition of tragedy.”

Tragedy, in Greek, means goat story. Scholars aren’t sure how the word and the animal came to be linked: whether goats were the prize given at the annual playwriting contest held in ancient Athens, or whether the creature was part of an attendant sacrificial ceremony for Dionysus. Or something else. Read more…

Now running through Nov. 23.

A DELICATE BALANCE at the Odyssey Theatre

Photo by Enci Box

Photo by Enci Box

Myron Meisel – The Hollywood Reporter

A Delicate Balance (1967) won the Pulitzer Prize shamefully denied Edward Albee for Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?. Spiky, stilted and maybe maddening to many, it was probably the most abstruse honoree at that point in the award’s history. Albee managed the difficult feat of being muskily dated and vanguardishly visionary at the same time. Read more…

Terry Morgan  -  Talkin’ Broadway

It’s interesting how differently one perceives things at different points in one’s life. When I first read Edward Albee’s A Delicate Balancein my twenties, I liked it but mostly fixated on the oddness and darkness. Seeing it done now, in my late forties, it seems like a much broader canvas, a play about what specifically holds society together. The Odyssey Theatre Ensemble production is superb, with an amazing cast that demonstrates how extraordinary this work really is. Read more…

Pauline Adamek  – Stage Raw

In Edward Albee’s first (of three) Pulitzer-prize winning plays (also including Seascape (1975) and Three Tall Women (1994), booze ever present and consumed, even at dawn. Naturally, the alcohol lubricates the conversation and so we watch the social exchange of this domestic drama grow increasingly feral as the story progresses.   Read more…

Now running through June 15.