SO here's the first thing about my theater experience today at the Ford's Theater here in DC--I had never seen "Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf" before. I had some vague black and white image of Richard Burton in nerd glasses and Elizabeth Taylor all angry-faced, but that was the sum total of my experience. And can I just say, this is a fucking amazing play! It starts out in the first class car of the crazy train and then just picks up steam from there.
You can see I had a great seat in the center of the third row, but in all fairness, Ford's is so small that it only has great seats. And looming to my right was the box where Lincoln was murdered...the only constantly weird thing about seeing plays/musicals there. The set was fine, nothing great, but the acting was truly stellar.
I had experienced both of the men in other productions. George, played by Gregory Linington, was the younger brother in Arena Stages production of "Little Foxes" back in October, and Nick, played by Danny Gavigan, was Stanley Kowalski in Everyman Theatre's production of a "Street Car Named Desire" that I saw back in May. Both men are accomplished and Danny is fine on the eyes, too! The women where both new to me, but I will definitely be on the lookout for more opportunities to experience their talents in the future. Maggie Wilder as the young professor's wife, Honey, was the comic lynch pin with timing that was pitch perfect in both matters of comedy and moments of pathos. She never failed to hit the mark. But this show is nothing without the role of Martha, adeptly played by Holly Twyford. From the moment she walked on stage, she held you in the palm of her crazy-ass hand! Confident, cocky, alluring, angry, spiteful and ultimately vulnerable--she did it all with tremendous magnetism. The three hours flew by with me on the edge of my seat for most of the time. And when I stood at the end for the ovation, I didn't look around to see if anyone else was going to join me. I didn't have to--we all rose as one.
|Holly Twyford as Martha in all of her commanding glory!|
|Honey (Maggie Wilder), George (Gregory Linington) and Martha in a liter, mocking moment.|
|The entire ensemble: Nick (Danny Gavigan) with Martha, and Honey and George on the couch.|
|George and Martha preparing for the final battle.|