Review Roundup: WHO'S AFRAID OF VIRGINIA WOOLF? Opens on Broadway - All the Reviews!
Elysa Gardner, USA Today: Letts relays this dark-horse quality as powerfully as any performer this critic has seen in the role. From his masterfully acerbic rebuttals to Martha's initial barrage of insults, this George proves that he isn't the mere simp his wife describes but rather a simmering cauldron of frustration and disappointment. And he lets the lid off with an unmannered intensity that is as bracing as it is convincing. Of course, any production of Woolf relies on the strength of its four-member cast; and this one, transferred from Chicago's Steppenwolf Theatre Company, has no weak links. Morton's savage but ultimately poignant Martha is, in keeping with Letts' stringent delivery, drier and less flamboyant than Kathleen Turner's in the last Broadway revival...You'll leave the gathering shaken and sobered, but also exhilarated. All golden anniversaries should be this memorable.
Robert Feldberg, NorthJersey.com: Witty, sarcastic, cruel, clownish, with the timing of a stand-up comic, Letts makes George a very funny, scarily driven man, the quicksilver center of the evening. You can see the stakes rise in the color of his face, which turns bright red as his anger peaks. Meanwhile, Morton, a perfect acting mate, gives glimpses of fear beneath Martha's boisterous, belittling manner, prefiguring the last, poignant line of the play.
Linda Winer, Newsday: From the opening moments, the Steppenwolf Theatre Company's brilliantly cast and justly celebrated production, which opened Saturday on the masterwork's 50th anniversary, gives off a voltage of the new and the giddy-making confidence that comes from being in sublimely trustworthy hands.
Jeremy Gerard, Bloomberg: "Virginia Woolf" is that rarity, a three-act, two- intermission drama that grabs you and never lets go. George and Martha will remain together, but hardly on a note of hope. Credit MacKinnon and her perfectly synchronized quartet for executing the play not as an allegory but as a real- time excursion into lives made unbearably common by compromise and self-delusion. It's unforgiving, and it's also unforgettable.
Hedy Weiss, Chicago Sun-Times: Letts is so blisteringly good - so incisive in every shift of mood and strategy and cuttingly comic barb - that there is a real danger he might be derailed from playwrighting by an onslaught of acting offers. Morton, who already showed what she is made of in Letts' "August: Osage County," finds a way to be every bit as vulnerable as she is corrosive and monstrous, and it is devastating. Eight performances of this a week? Impossible to comprehend.
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