Thursday, August 23, 2007

Albee in our Row

At Deuce on Sunday, Edward Albee was sitting in our row. Angela Lansbury was in the 1972 production of Albee's All Over in London. She was tapped to play Martha in Virginia Wolfe, but took Gypsy instead. She would have torn up that scenery as Martha no doubt. Marian Seldes won her Tony as Best Featured Actress in a Play as "Julia" in 1967 for Albee's A Delicate Balance. I have only seen two productions of Albee's plays: Who's Afraid of Virginia Wolfe on July 31, 2005, and Seascape on November 9, 2005. What I remember most about Virginia Wolfe was my feeling of pure astonishment. I didn't expect to be so entertained or so moved. Kathleen Turner and Bill Irwin, who won a Tony for the role, made it seem effortless. It was frightening, funny, cathartic and beautiful. My memory of Seascape is less enthusiastic. The best thing about it was Frances Sternhagen, who is one of my favorite actresses. I think I was expecting something on the level of Virginia Wolfe, but it was entertaining nevertheless. After seeing Marian Seldes in Deuce, I became inspired to read the some of the plays she performed in. I started with A Delicate Balance. It was not easy. It's like a nightmare in a wealthy suburban home where everybody is manic, drunk and possibly going crazy. It difficult to ascertain what the reality is. Marian told me that the depth and richness of character that Albee writes is unparalleled and that is an honor and challenge to play them. She also premiered in his Three Tall Women in 1994 off-Broadway. Albee won a Pulitzer for this one too. It's my favorite Albee and I watched the film of it at Performing Arts Library. Albee takes me on a roll coaster journey of laughter and horror and brings me back feeling exhilarated.



3 comments:

Steve On Broadway (SOB) said...

You got Edward Albee, I got Joyce Randolph....

After hearing Marian Seldes speak with such affection for Albee in a recent XM radio interview, it's fitting that he would be in the audience for her final Deuce performance.

Thanks for sharing!

SarahB said...

I love Joyce! She's my neighbor.

Steve On Broadway (SOB) said...

Tell her I said hello! I would love to hang out with her at Sardi's sometime.