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Virginia Woolf First Preview

abstract19
Stand-by
joined:10/15/07
Virginia Woolf First Preview
Posted: 9/27/12 at 01:54pm
Anyone going tonight? I have my tickets for October. This is one of my favorite plays, I couldn't be more excited!

Also, if anyone can tell me if they are selling a poster, that would be great. I LOVE the artwork.
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showchoirguy
Broadway Star
joined:7/14/10
Virginia Woolf First Preview
Posted: 9/27/12 at 11:52pm
Did anyone see the show? I would love to hear how it was!
After Eight
Broadway Legend
joined:6/5/09
Virginia Woolf First Preview
Posted: 9/28/12 at 12:18am
Well done, well acted.

As for the play itself, with each new revival, it seems more and more overlong and wearying.

This time it checked in at 3 hours ten minutes.
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WhizzerMarvin TrinaJasonMendel
Broadway Legend
joined:5/26/05
Virginia Woolf First Preview
Posted: 9/28/12 at 12:34am
I was there tonight. It's a good production, and Amy Morton in particular is excellent. It's obviously a juicy role, and she appears to be loving exploring the different sides of Martha.

Tracy Letts reminded me of John Lithgow's character in Dexter. I wouldn't be surprised if George had a couple of dead bodies in the basement! In fact the way the younger couple gets trapped in the house was like that creepy Thanksgiving episode where Dexter gets stuck eating dinner with Lithgow's family. He was strongest in the third act.

Even though this is a solid production, and often very entertaining, I still didn't think it had that something extra to make it truly exciting. Although, compared to some of the lukewarm offerings so far this Broadway season, Virginia Woolf is a godsend.
Marie: Don't be in such a hurry about that pretty little chippy in Frisco. Tony: Eh, she's a no chip!
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Jordan Catalano
Broadway Legend
joined:10/9/05
Virginia Woolf First Preview
Posted: 9/28/12 at 12:39am
It'll be hard to top the last production but I am still looking forward to this.
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WhizzerMarvin TrinaJasonMendel
Broadway Legend
joined:5/26/05
Virginia Woolf First Preview
Posted: 9/28/12 at 12:44am
That's what my friends said, Jordan. With the fond memories of the last production still fresh why bring this in, no matter good it may be? Is there an audience for another revival so soon? The Booth was pretty empty tonight, and it looked like a bunch of industry comps were handed out. I wish them well, but the producers are going to really find a good way to market this well.
Marie: Don't be in such a hurry about that pretty little chippy in Frisco. Tony: Eh, she's a no chip!
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EricMontreal22
Broadway Legend
joined:10/31/11
Virginia Woolf First Preview
Posted: 9/28/12 at 12:51am
Doesn't the show always run 3 hours? Even the original cast album is just about three hours, and that doesn't require on-stage action obviously.
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WhizzerMarvin TrinaJasonMendel
Broadway Legend
joined:5/26/05
Virginia Woolf First Preview
Posted: 9/28/12 at 01:02am
Yes it always runs three hours. We got out at 11:07 tonight.
Marie: Don't be in such a hurry about that pretty little chippy in Frisco. Tony: Eh, she's a no chip!
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rosscoe(au)
Broadway Legend
joined:8/20/05
Virginia Woolf First Preview
Posted: 9/28/12 at 01:11am
I haven't seen a production of this since the very early 80's and at the time hated every single minute of it. All I remember about it was every one drank, and all the show seemed to be about was four drunken people.
Well I didn't want to get into it, but he's a Satanist. Every full moon he sacrifices 4 puppies to the Dark Lord and smears their blood on his paino. This should help you understand the score for Wicked a little bit more. Tazber's: Reply to Is Stephen Schwartz a Practicing Christian
AC126748 Profile Photo
AC126748
Broadway Legend
joined:7/15/06
Virginia Woolf First Preview
Posted: 9/28/12 at 02:20pm
The last revival--which I saw three times--was under 3 hours. Closer to 2:45-2:50.
"You travel alone because other people are only there to remind you how much that hook hurts that we all bit down on. Wait for that one day we can bite free and get back out there in space where we belong, sail back over water, over skies, into space, the hook finally out of our mouths and we wander back out there in space spawning to other planets never to return hurrah to earth and we'll look back and can't even see these lives here anymore. Only the taste of blood to remind us we ever existed. The earth is small. We're gone. We're dead. We're safe." -John Guare, Landscape of the Body
A Director
Broadway Star
joined:12/18/07
Virginia Woolf First Preview
Posted: 9/28/12 at 07:45pm
As for the play itself, with each new revival, it seems more and more overlong and wearying.

This time it checked in at 3 hours ten minutes.

Too bad the production runs way passed After Eight's bedtime.
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Jordan Catalano
Broadway Legend
joined:10/9/05
Virginia Woolf First Preview
Posted: 9/28/12 at 07:59pm
I think you mean that it starts way past his bedtime.
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Dollypop
Broadway Legend
joined:5/15/03
Virginia Woolf First Preview
Posted: 9/29/12 at 12:20am
Oh, how I'd love to see Patti LuPone and Boyd Gaines sink their teeth into Martha and George!

"Long live God!" (GODSPELL)
Updated On: 9/29/12 at 12:20 AM
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The Distinctive Baritone
Broadway Legend
joined:8/28/04
Virginia Woolf First Preview
Posted: 9/29/12 at 12:34am
That would have been good casting! They're both a little too old now but I'm surprised neither of them have done it.

BTW, although it is a bit soon for another Broadway production, this version is very different--and for my taste, significantly better for the most part.
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strummergirl
Broadway Legend
joined:12/8/09
Virginia Woolf First Preview
Posted: 9/29/12 at 12:34am
I still remember the Arena Stage production from over a year ago. Even if it was 3 hours each intermission was a necessary breather from the momentum and tension on stage. It's a good production with performances worthy of awards- so I certainly hope it gets the audience it deserves.
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Auggie27
Broadway Legend
joined:10/13/03
Virginia Woolf First Preview
Posted: 9/29/12 at 09:07am
As an interpretation, this production's described as a major departure (via casting and directorial choices) in terms of the George and Martha dynamic, with George more in the driver's seat from the top, instead of his personal power's ascendancy being relegated to the infamous reversal in act three. I'll be curious to see how that's explored. I've seen most major revivals, including the oddity of Glenda Jackson and John Lithgow, whose brittle repartee turned act one into PRIVATE LIVES. The Dewhurst - Gazzara revival gave us a physically attractive George, rather than the usual cerebral but weakened image. Irwin was harder for me to imagine as Turner's husband, a basic requirement of the text. But he was persuasive, and delivered one of the most searing act threes. A minority opinion I make no apology for: I still love Taylor and Burton, whose chemistry and dynamic successfully balanced the equation the best. The film's line readings (no doubt encouraged or set by Nichols) remain indelible.

Sidebar: Something in the film that the stage versions never provide: the moment in the George and Martha bedroom, very early, pre-Nick and Honey, when they fall on the bed laughing. Because film is a visual medium, that moment, delivered in close-up, both actors reclining, faces inches apart, establishes something in the couple that we hold onto for the rest of the film. Simply seeing their bedroom -- emotional and sexual ground zero -- provides a powerful look at their intimacy, and Nichols used it brilliantly. Just my opinion, but the living room alone must approximate that in entirely different terms. Different mediums, however, and I'm not comparing them per se.





"I'm a comedian, but in my spare time, things bother me." Gary Shandling
Updated On: 9/29/12 at 09:07 AM
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jayinchelsea
Broadway Star
joined:4/9/09
Virginia Woolf First Preview
Posted: 9/29/12 at 10:25am
Auggie27, don't know why you think admiring Taylor and Burton would be a minority opinion. On the day Elizabeth died, I felt the need to watch something great she had done, and admittedly she had filmed a lot of junk. But WAOVW is still brilliant, and yes, I'm sure Mr. Nichols worked very closely with her (and Burton), and their version of this seminal play (even with the cuts and opening up what needs to remain claustrophobic) is still devastating.

I saw a late matinee production of the original, with great performances by actress/producer Haila Stoddard and Donald Davis in 1963 (anyone out there old enough and/or lucky enough to have seen Stritch in the matinee company around this time? Would love to hear about it); Dewhurst and Gazzara in the 70s revival (two great actors who should have ignited the stage, but were somehow a bit subdued); and the Turner/Irwin revival, better than I expected but short of sensational.

Will probably see this new production, but not yet sure...
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Auggie27
Broadway Legend
joined:10/13/03
Virginia Woolf First Preview
Posted: 9/29/12 at 10:43am
You know Jay, after all these years, I'm still on the fence about the decision to take the quartet out of the house in the film. (Admittedly, this is where I am in the minority, and I know Albee and most of his fans loathe it.) The roadside sequence is masterfully directed (still love the Taylor-Burton crescendo against the car), un-Hollywood in ambiance, and on some bizarre level, their impulsive decision to go there makes sense to me, now that I'm older. It feels very college town-specific. Harder to buy: the return to the house for act 3 of course. But because it's such a different medium, I accept the interpolation of another setting because they held onto so much of the text. And maybe in a movie we do need a break. At least the Nick-Martha dance, with a juke box to provide spontaneously what must be more womped up in the home, actually feels entirely organic and believable.

"I'm a comedian, but in my spare time, things bother me." Gary Shandling
Updated On: 9/29/12 at 10:43 AM
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Dollypop
Broadway Legend
joined:5/15/03
Virginia Woolf First Preview
Posted: 9/29/12 at 11:16am
Auggie, I have to disagree with you. The original George was Arthur Hill--a physically attractive man in my book.
"Long live God!" (GODSPELL)
Auggie27 Profile Photo
Auggie27
Broadway Legend
joined:10/13/03
Virginia Woolf First Preview
Posted: 9/29/12 at 11:25am
You're quite right about Hill. Sorry.
"I'm a comedian, but in my spare time, things bother me." Gary Shandling
Owen22
Broadway Legend
joined:2/24/11
Virginia Woolf First Preview
Posted: 9/29/12 at 12:28pm
How was Carrie Coon as Honey? I saw her do The Real Thing last year in Chicago, doing the Glenn Close role. She chose to do the part as Eastern European, which added a layer of Otherness to the character which actually made her likable (a first for me in my Real Thing experiences). It was an amazing choice and she was fantastic.

Updated On: 9/29/12 at 12:28 PM
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EricMontreal22
Broadway Legend
joined:10/31/11
Virginia Woolf First Preview
Posted: 9/29/12 at 02:08pm
I love the movie, but I think its effect is significantly different--partly due to the opening up, as mentioned. It just seems a lot softer and more personal for various reasons.

I saw a very good local production with Meg Tilly as a heartbreaking Martha last year, and I agree that each intermission is perfectly placed (although I did feel a bit guilty grabbing a drink during each...)
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Broadway Local
Broadway Star
joined:12/8/05
Virginia Woolf First Preview
Posted: 9/29/12 at 04:33pm
Having seen the second preview last night, I think the big difference is that here, both George and Nick have turned up the insanity level to match Martha, so it becomes a three-way brawl much earlier.

And I'm amazed that all the cursing and drinking that scandalized Broadway 50 years ago is today what I can watch on basic cable. 1962's R or even X has become today's PG-13.
O-ho the Wells Fargo wagon is a-comin' down the street.
Oh please let it be for me!
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iluvtheatertrash
Broadway Legend
joined:11/9/04
Virginia Woolf First Preview
Posted: 9/29/12 at 04:38pm
One of the most compelling moments in film history. She was extraordinary in this role.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PgMu5oM4rUg
"I know now that theatre saved my life." - Susan Stroman
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EricMontreal22
Broadway Legend
joined:10/31/11
Virginia Woolf First Preview
Posted: 9/29/12 at 04:56pm
You're right, Sandy Dennis was pretty awesome in a somewhat thankless role.
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AC126748
Broadway Legend
joined:7/15/06
Virginia Woolf First Preview
Posted: 9/29/12 at 05:04pm
Oh, how I'd love to see Patti LuPone and Boyd Gaines sink thier teeth into Martha and George!

Lupone was one of the many actresses considered for the last revival of WOOLF (her ex-boyfriend Mr. Kline was also considered as a possible George for that production). I agree that she would be magnificent, provided she stay away from some of her more self-indulgent tendencies.

I was there last night. I doubt I'll see a better production of the play in my lifetime...and this is coming from someone who, as I said, saw the last revival three times.
"You travel alone because other people are only there to remind you how much that hook hurts that we all bit down on. Wait for that one day we can bite free and get back out there in space where we belong, sail back over water, over skies, into space, the hook finally out of our mouths and we wander back out there in space spawning to other planets never to return hurrah to earth and we'll look back and can't even see these lives here anymore. Only the taste of blood to remind us we ever existed. The earth is small. We're gone. We're dead. We're safe." -John Guare, Landscape of the Body

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