Who' is The Big Bad Wolf?

buddy5
Swing
joined:4/12/12
Who' is The Big Bad Wolf?
Posted: 11/28/12 at 03:57pm
Was there..is there some demonic animal killing Virginia Woolf? In spite of huge notices, assured Tony acting nominations and a reputation that is legion..the house remains. Half full..Must there be a star?.Kathleen Truner did give a masterful performance, but the plays is now balanced ,giving the script a more effective way of conveying the message.

I was an investor in the original, and while the leads were known (Utah Hagen and Arthur Hill). They were not box office magnets and received moderate salaries.......in fact the budget was so strict the they sang Who's of
VirginianWoolf to the tune of Let'S Go Round The Mulberry Bush..to save royalties.











Phyllis Rogers Stone
Broadway Legend
joined:9/16/07
Who' is The Big Bad Wolf?
Posted: 11/28/12 at 03:59pm
...
Wynbish
Broadway Legend
joined:4/27/12
Who' is The Big Bad Wolf?
Posted: 11/28/12 at 04:08pm
o_0
followspot
Broadway Star
joined:12/27/11
Who' is The Big Bad Wolf?
Posted: 11/28/12 at 04:14pm
Interesting to hear your opinion of the current production, buddy5. I agree that the balance seems to be right. All the best to you!
"Tracy... Hold Mama's waffles."
JoeKv99
Broadway Legend
joined:12/27/04
Who' is The Big Bad Wolf?
Posted: 11/28/12 at 04:26pm
The legend of the raven's roar is still not very coherent.
No good can possibly come from using this vast wasteland of error and deliberate deceit. You should get off of it and warn others away. You should make sure your children and grandchildren know what a corrupt and morally bankrupt institution it truly is.
henrikegerman
Broadway Legend
joined:4/29/05
Who' is The Big Bad Wolf?
Posted: 11/28/12 at 04:59pm
Maybe people like me are part of the problem. I have no strong desire to see this play right now, just as I had no driving desire to see Salesman and Streetcar last year.

My memories of seeing and loving Turner, Irwin, Dennehy, Franz, Blanchett in excellent productions which seem too vividly recent (in some cases they aren't all that recent but they still seem that way) are indelible. It's almost like I'm protecting my memories, holding them sacrosanct. I don't want them corrupted. And I may well be the one missing out, but that's how I feel.

I'm not proud of feeling this way. And it may be ridiculous. But it's still true; am I the only one?

And, for some reason, this seems more true for me with plays, and particular great dramas, than with musicals.

I'm very excited about seeing The PIano Lesson - a play I cherish as I do memories of the original production - tomorrow night. But I don't think I would have been particularly interested in seeing a revival of it 15 years ago.
darquegk
Broadway Legend
joined:2/5/09
Who' is The Big Bad Wolf?
Posted: 11/28/12 at 05:15pm
The bad wolf is Rose Tyler. Ever since she accidentally "doctored up" to save Nine, she's been more or less the living embodiment of fate and destiny in the known universe, and she remains only semi-conscious of all her machinations.

Clearly, the fate of this production of "Virginia Woolf" has something to do with the universe's inner workings and fate.
Stage Door Sally
Broadway Star
joined:6/4/09
Who' is The Big Bad Wolf?
Posted: 11/28/12 at 06:57pm
I went to the play with a group of seven the Saturday matinee after Thanksgiving and was shocked to see the house only about 60% full. The upper level was nearly empty and the ushers had no problem with us moving.

I'm a huge fan of Woolf, it's brilliantly written. Last time I saw it on Broadway was with Colleen Dewhurst, Ben Gazzara, Maureen Anderman, and Richard Kelton who died tragically and way too soon. I interviewed Maureen earlier this year regarding Richard III. She was Albee's go to girl until she started having children and she learned a lot from Colleen.

That said, until Saturday, I thought that production and the movie were pretty much the definitive Woolf.

No. I was wrong. This production is IT. Like the opening of Un Chien Andalu, I feel my eyes have been newly cut and opened anew.

Tracy Letts puts George into a new realm. Playing with precision and strength opposite Amy Morton's less than shrill Martha, we now feel that at one time this may have been a loving, caring couple. And maybe, just maybe, now that the charade is over there's a little hope for them. Letts just nailed it.

After this version, I now feel Colleen and Elizabeth were too over the top and shrill. I never felt their vulnerability until the very end. Ben seems now too one note and Richard was pathetically unlovable. Neither had the depth Letts did. A tour de force performance.

Madison Dirks is a very worthy opponent for George, and I might add super nice. He happily posed for a picture with my daughter after the show. And Carrie Coon, god love her. A really thankless part but she makes one helluva drunk.

Four in our group were young adults who had never seen Woolf in any incarnation and their reaction was telling. They were exhausted, a little bit confused which is understandable, and they couldn't stop talking about it. Repeating the classic lines and commenting on the great acting and bizarre plot.

In short they loved it, and I am so happy that my daughter's first Woolf was this big bad one.

At dinner we discussed the poor attendance. My husband thinks it should have come out in the spring and at this time of year people don't want to see something so heavy and depressing. He may have a point. Too bad. I hope it gets filmed. This version is memorable.









Updated On: 11/28/12 at 06:57 PM
Leadingplayer
Broadway Star
joined:5/12/03
Who' is The Big Bad Wolf?
Posted: 11/28/12 at 09:35pm
I think it is just too soon for a revival.
little_sally
Broadway Legend
joined:1/15/04
Who' is The Big Bad Wolf?
Posted: 11/28/12 at 09:40pm
Thank goodness I wasn't the only one who saw this thread title and thought of Doctor Who.

I think the problem is that too many people are familiar with the play (or the movie). I keep telling people how much I enjoyed the current revival and most of the reactions I receive are along the lines of, "We've had enough of Virginia Woolf."
A little swash, a bit of buckle - you'll love it more than bread.
justoldbill
Broadway Star
joined:10/17/07
Who' is The Big Bad Wolf?
Posted: 11/28/12 at 11:22pm
So, finally, the answer to the question would seem to be-
"I am, George.... I am."

Well-well-well-what-do-you-think-of-that-I-have-nothing-here-to-pay-my-train-fare-with-only-large-bills-fives-and-sevens....
Updated On: 11/28/12 at 11:22 PM
CurtainPullDowner
Broadway Legend
joined:11/4/04
Who' is The Big Bad Wolf?
Posted: 11/28/12 at 11:42pm
I agree, too soon, and the fact that no one besides Chicagoan Theatre go-ers have ever heard of any of the actors (as brill as they are), don't help.
bobs3
Broadway Legend
joined:4/8/12
Who' is The Big Bad Wolf?
Posted: 11/29/12 at 05:04am
Having seen the Kathleen Turner production (and I call it that because she was the reason the production came to fruition), I thought there was no way anyone could ever top Bill Irwin's George until I saw Tracy Letts entirely different take on the character. Brilliant. Even better than Richard Burton in the film.
Stage Door Sally
Broadway Star
joined:6/4/09
Who' is The Big Bad Wolf?
Posted: 11/29/12 at 07:53am
Most people I know have never seen the play. And despite the raves, they still aren't coming. Sad, sad, sad.
After Eight
Broadway Legend
joined:6/5/09
Who' is The Big Bad Wolf?
Posted: 11/29/12 at 10:14am
The original production was a shocker, which helped contribute to its success.

Now, the shock has worn off.

Remember, too, neither Broadway revival was able to sustain a run. Maybe people are just tired of it.

Personally, I found the Turner/Irwin revival superior to this one.
newintown
Broadway Legend
joined:3/3/10
Who' is The Big Bad Wolf?
Posted: 11/29/12 at 10:35am
Broadway is approaching community theatre status when the same plays and musicals get revived every ten years or so.
eperkins
Leading Actor
joined:5/21/07
Who' is The Big Bad Wolf?
Posted: 11/29/12 at 10:39am
And add to that the fact that most tourists prefer musicals to straight plays. I think that's why straight plays now have nearly equal BO prices to musicals, even though their operating expenses are far less. Plays used to cost far less.
After Eight
Broadway Legend
joined:6/5/09
Who' is The Big Bad Wolf?
Posted: 11/29/12 at 10:59am
There's also the question of star power.

Look at Al Pacino, giving a fairish performance in a so-so production of a recently revived play, one that is far inferior to Virginia Woolf, and yet, he's boffo at the box-office.

To sell the third revival of a very well-known play, you need stars to bring in the crowds. The actors here are great, but they are not names that sell tickets. If you had George Clooney and Julia Roberts as George and Martha, it would be SRO.

Updated On: 11/29/12 at 10:59 AM
eperkins
Leading Actor
joined:5/21/07
Who' is The Big Bad Wolf?
Posted: 11/29/12 at 11:14am
Yes, it does seem that these days, if you haven't got a play with star power attached, you're just pushing a boulder up a steep hill. Sad.
Phillytheatreguy10
Leading Actor
joined:7/22/12
Who' is The Big Bad Wolf?
Posted: 11/29/12 at 12:33pm
Although, The Performers had a few names, familar to theatre go-ers and the masses alike and had virtually no advance in sales and failed, the source material was debateable, but the reviews were mostly kind. Woolf, other then online, I've not seen a lot of marketing for in the city. I've seen Woolf, and it's pitch-perfect, and it is certainly a shame that theatre isn't filled nightly- as the review suggests, it's a necessary ticket- timing aside in regards to revival, it needed to be seen! It's mesmerizingly good! I saw Grace the same day I saw this, and that theatre was full, which adds to the star power argument. I think the time of the year argument brought up by another poster is a valid point, especially in a season saturated with Christmas musicals and young casts! The more adult stuff is getting drown out!
newintown
Broadway Legend
joined:3/3/10
Who' is The Big Bad Wolf?
Posted: 11/29/12 at 01:02pm
"...in regards to revival, it needed to be seen!"

Nothing needs to be seen. No matter how good the revivals may be, there's no real need to keep shelling out $120 to see Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? over and over and over again (unless, of course, unfamiliar plays just leave you perplexed).
Phillytheatreguy10
Leading Actor
joined:7/22/12
Who' is The Big Bad Wolf?
Posted: 11/29/12 at 01:21pm
You picked the one undiplomatic statement in my post! I try to remain diplomatic in my posts, unless its purely an opinion on my part. Many have suggested this particular production and performances take a different approach to the material, I was only familar with the Burton/Taylor movie, as a theatre student, this was my first experience seeing it live- so yes, future generations NEED to see this type of material, I believe this is the reason for revivals, to expose the "Glee" generation to truly great source material- look at Shakespeare, its constantly trotted out, because the material is great! As for the price tag, that's your right, I got student rush, so no complaints, and we moved center before the show even began because, as the reason for this thread suggests, the theatre was woe-fully undersold!
Dollypop
Broadway Legend
joined:5/15/03
Who' is The Big Bad Wolf?
Posted: 11/29/12 at 02:32pm
My seven year old granddaughter wants to see VIRGINIA WOOLF. I keep telling her that a) it's not a musical and has nothing to do with the Three Bears b) it has inappropriate language for 7 year olds and c) there's lots of alcohol consumed on stage--and she's vehemently anti-alcohol. Still, she wants me to take her to it. (I can tell you, it's not gonna happen!)
"Long live God!" (GODSPELL)
WOSQ
Broadway Legend
joined:7/18/03
Who' is The Big Bad Wolf?
Posted: 11/29/12 at 02:39pm
Revivals of serious plays will always be a hard sell particularly without stars.

Now let's get to the good part. How much was the original production's payoff? To the positive, it is a one set (where nothing flew), 4 character play that ran 18 months in NY, had a movie sale and spawned one or two national companies. To the debit side, every role was double cast in NY and George and Martha were double cast on the road. In NY at least, the matinee casts were names to one degree or other.

I'm not asking exactly how much you made, but what was the percentage return or how much on the dollar?
"If my life weren't funny, it would just be true. And that would be unacceptable." --Carrie Fisher
Jordan Catalano
Broadway Legend
joined:10/9/05
Who' is The Big Bad Wolf?
Posted: 11/29/12 at 02:52pm
Dolly, you're worried that Elizabeth isn't mature enough for this?? MY GOD, she was more like Martha at five years old than Amy Morton is now! She's a demon spawn who is legally allowed to roam the streets terrorizing anyone she pleases! The only thing that would concern me about taking her to this would be her hysterical demonic laughter at the very end and her eyes lighting up that bright red that they do and distracting the actors on stage.
Wee Thomas2
Leading Actor
joined:2/28/12
Who' is The Big Bad Wolf?
Posted: 11/29/12 at 02:56pm
"Like the opening of Un Chien Andalu, I feel my eyes have been newly cut and opened anew. "

Do you have any idea how many YEARS it took me to remove this image from my memory banks?

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