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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.