Edward Albee’s masterpiece of playwriting, his 1962 work Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, is about to be revived again on Broadway. Surprisingly, the October 13 opening represents just the third time in exactly 50 years this wonderful play has been performed on The Great White Way.
This production arrives enroute from Chicago’s Steppenwolf Theatre and stars one of that company’s favourite sons, Tracy Letts, himself playwright of one of this centuries great dramas, August Osage County.
The New York Times has published excerpts of comments about the play from some of those in the opening night audience in 1962. How would it be 50 years later realising you were among the opening night audience for what would become one fo the great American plays of the modern era (especially considering at the time it openend to very mixed reviews)?
Published comments about the play’s 1962 opening include those from none other than Stephen Sondheim, Woody Allen, Elaine Stritch (who would replace Uta Hagen as Martha on stage), Mike Nichols (who would direct the famous 1966 film version of the play starring Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton), playwright A. R Gurney and George Segal (who would play Nick in the film adaptation).
Whos’ Afraid of Virginia Woolf? sits at No.3 on my personal list of the top 10 plays of all time. Two years ago I attended an interview with Edward Albee at the Melbourne Theatre Company, of which my notes from the event can be found here.