“Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?”, now in its run at the Geffen Playhouse, is best denoted by its classic singsong parody of the childhood tune, ‘who’s afraid of the big bad wolf.’ Much like Tom Perotta’s bestselling 2003 novel, “Little Children,” this melodramatic play is about adults who act more like children in their vain attempt to get along with each other. Martha is played brilliantly by Calista Flockhart, who’s come a long way baby, from her comedic role in Ally McBeal. Flockhart reminds one of (and perhaps even one-ups) the iconic actress Elizabeth Taylor, who portrayed Martha in the film version. George, also stunningly portrayed by Zachary Quinto, brings quickly to mind, the disheveled Richard Burton. Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor were married and endured a stormy relationship, which proves the tried and true expression of art imitating life. How much more depth of talent Calista Flockhart shows in portraying an angry, disillusioned wife, when in real life, she’s securely and happily involved with long time love interest, Harrison Ford. This story by the late, great playwright, Edward Albee, is arguably one of his most masterful creations, and proves how extremely adept and astute he was in delving into his characters’ psyches. If one were to compare it to “Zoo Story,” it’s quite apparent that Jerry is very much a broken character, who attacks Peter, in much the same way that George and Martha attack each other. Each adult tries to protect the inner child within, bruised and broken, to no avail. Albee’s vivid depiction of living life on the edge is quite relevant to today’s world, in which our covid impacted generation is befuddled by the stark, horrendous, and ear ringing words of Rodney King, “why can’t we just get along?” What makes it even more powerful and frightening is Martha’s willingness to disparage and belittle George as an incompetent husband, in front of soft spoken, unsuspecting guests, Honey (Aimee Carrero) and Nick (Graham Phillips). The two couples are perfect contrasts to each other, yet the younger couple seem intrigued, mesmerized, and refuse to leave the scene, even at its most volatile. Layers upon layers of insults and mean spirited words are strewn amidst the stage, revealing how cruel are the games adults can play.
Through May 29th