Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?
By Edward Albee
Director, Diego Arciniegas; Stage Management, Nerys Powell; Production Management & Sound Design, John Doerschuk; Costume Design, Susanne Nitter; Lighting Design, Kenneth Helvig; Set Design, Dahlia Al-Habieli
CAST: Tina Packer, Martha; Nigel Gore, George; Angie Jepson, Honey; Kevin Kaine,Nick Performances through October 24 at Publick Theatre at the Plaza Theatre at the Boston Center for the Arts, 539 Tremont Street, Boston's South End
Box Office 617-933-8600 or www.bostontheatrescene.com
After all the drama of whether or not the show would go on, go on it did… and in grand style. Faced with last-minute licensing issues, the Publick Theatre Boston production of Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? received permission to open on schedule with the proviso that a program insert state that it was not approved by the playwright Edward Albee. However, within moments of the actors taking the stage, the caliber of their performances and the intensity of the play under the direction of Diego Arciniegas swept away The Remains of the nasty business beyond the fourth wall.
Speaking of nasty business, Albee posits that marriage is one, and he proceeds to make his point with crackling verbiage, more snide comments than heard on right wing talk radio, and near knockdown, drag out skirmishes that leave the characters and the audience spent. In three acts over the course of three hours, we observe the bilateral torment of George and Martha and their systematic dissection of each others' psyches, as well as their masterful gamesmanship in their ability to use their young guests Nick and Honey as both pawns and weapons. As the alcohol flows and the late night party devolves into a war of words and wits, defenses are destroyed and the marital secrets of both couples are painfully revealed.