Thursday, May 10, 2007

Who's Afraid of Edward Albee?

Yesterday I sat in the front row at the Golden Gate Theatre in San Francisco and watched Kathleen Turner and Bill Irwin turn my gut into a cauldron of anxiety. I've read Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf a couple of times, of course. But, I have never seen it done on stage. Edward Albee must have had an absolutely awful childhood. And, he must be an absolute genius. As is always the case with Albee, I find myself laughing often and with gusto, while inside I'm becoming slowly but surely upset at what I see unfolding before me. In the hands of this cast, which also includes Kathleen Early and David Furr and directed by Anthony Page, this Virginia Woolf is scathing, hilarious and very disturbing. Sitting in the front row didn't help ease my inability to escape the verbal violence going on before me. I literally felt I was sitting there in the living room with them. Kathleen Turner is just amazing. Never do you feel that she's acting. It's as if the part was written for her and she knows it in her bones and her soul. I actually found myself feeling profoundly sad for her. She was visibly exhausted during the curtain call. No wonder, her performance is an absolute master class in realistic theatre.

If you have a chance you must see this show. I won't say that you will leave feeling happy. You might even be upset, but it will change your life and make you examine your own grief.

There are only two days left.