Saturday, January 28, 2017

Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? Theatre Review

Gregory Linington & Holly Twyford (r) star in Edward Albee's Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (Photo: Scott Suchman)

Wickedly Good

"Martha's a devil with language." Is she ever. Four-time Helen Hayes Award winner Holly Twyford comes the closest (I've ever seen) to matching the immortal Elizabeth Taylor's Oscar-winning performance in the 1966 cinematic adaptation of Edward Albee's Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? Bitter? Check. Sassy? Check. Seductive? Check. Thank goodness, given the play's 3+ hour runtime and rather small footprint (simple set, three other characters.) If you want to hold this critic's attention for that long, you'd better be good; and Twyford is, and then some. It certainly doesn't hurt to have Albee's edgy prose as ammunition; and a more-than-capable opponent, husband George (Gregory Linington.)

202 Words or Less

It's hard to believe this is the first Albee play to show at Ford's Theatre (fingers crossed for The Goat, or Who is Sylvia?) Few plays do so much with (relatively) so little; but then again, even fewer after-parties are this interesting. Danny Gavigan (Zorro) delivers another superb turn as a Josh Lucas-like Nick, perfect opposite Maggie Wilder's perky Honey. Director Aaron Posner sets a great pace, and Meghan Raham captures the essence of a 1960's New England living room perfectly. This close to the year's best (so far) and a shoo-in for Best Actress (Twyford.)

Grade: A-

Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? runs 3 hours and 15 minutes with two intermissions, now through February 19 at Ford's Theatre (511 10th Street, NW.) Tickets cost $15-$62, and are available for purchase at or by calling 1(800) 982-2787.