Tuesday, February 21, 2017

reviews - WHO'S AFRAID OF VIRGINIA WOOLF? - Space 55

Shari Watts and Duane Daniels
photo courtesy Space 55
highlights from local critics reviews - (click link at bottom of each review to read complete review)

Click here for more information on this production that runs through March 5th.

"Almost fifty-five years after premiering on Broadway, Edward Albee's award-winning play Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, which portrays an intellectual and argumentative war zone for two bickering couples where sparks fly, tempers flare, and games are played until the truth is ultimately revealed, proves to be still explosive, especially in the stellar production from Space 55 that runs through March 5th. The superior, refined, and emotionally rich performances from Shari Watts and Duane Daniels as the sparring married couple at the center of the play will be ingrained in your memory for a very long time....Albee's dialogue is excellent in displaying the marital discord and the raw nature of these defeated people. His ability to portray the games couples play and the fantasies and illusions they create in order to survive the disillusionments and disappointments in their lives and the shortcomings of their stormy, self-destructive, love-hate relationships is dramatic, riveting and, most importantly, incredibly real. The small Space 55 stage puts you just a few feet away from the action in a theatrical setting that ...adds an intimacy and urgency to the dialogue and actions...Shari Watts and Duane Daniels are excellent in displaying the raw emotions of their characters, with Watts sensational as the bickering, boisterous and flirty Martha and Duane equally adept as her foil, the surefooted, constantly harried, disheveled George. ...These are superb performances with realistic and expressive facial gestures and appropriate body language, and there is always, underneath, the sense of neediness these two have for each other, especially in the heartbreaking ending once the deep dark truths have been revealed. Megan Holcomb and Paul Kolecki are very good as the polite and somewhat uncomfortable guests Honey and Nick...Director Carolyn McBurney does exceptional work in staging the action...She ensures every moment resonates, whether explosive or introspective, and the ending packs a wallop in her staging that pinpoints the final moment to a single small spot that is rich, intense and incredibly effective....While Albee's play is less shocking today...his three-hour study of the late night, booze-soaked party with two sparring couples at different phases in their married lives still makes for a searing expose. Space 55's production, with intense performances from Watts and Daniels, makes for an exhausting and emotionally draining yet completely enthralling theatrical experience.. " -Gil Benbrook, Talkin' Broadway (click here to read the complete review)

"... Space 55 Ensemble does justice to (Edward) Albee’s serrated wordplay...in an intimate production that gives the audience a fly-on-the-wall view of the emotional carnage. Shari Watts plays Martha with the over-the-top intensity that is absolutely essential to the role, while Duane Daniels deftly distills the complex cocktail of cynical erudition and smoldering nihilism in her husband, George, ...Equally effective are supporting players Megan Holcomb and Paul Kolecki as a young couple caught in the verbal crossfire...Brutally funny and provocatively cerebral, “Virginia Woolf” relentlessly ratchets up the tension so you barely notice the 3½-hour running time ,,," Kerry Lengel, Arizona Republic (click here to read the complete review)

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