"Woolf" Review: Raise a Glass

October 19, 2012 12:42 PM

" During the first intermission of the new Steppenwolf Theatre Co. take on “Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?” that just opened at the Booth Theatre, the stranger to my right leaned over and whispered, with relief: “I’m so glad I’m single.”

 

Who could blame her? If you read Edward Albee’s “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?” in high school, or saw the bitter, foaming 1966 film with Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton, you walked away with firm feelings about marriage, and they weren't warm and fuzzy. But a funny thing happens by the time this “Woolf” stops howling, three-plus hours in: It stops feeling like an argument against coupledom and becomes testimony in favor of it.

 

“George and Martha. Sad, sad, sad,” Martha wonders aloud, in a moment of awareness that her husband is the only one who can keep up with her sordid games. Sad? Maybe not so much.

 

Tracy Letts and Amy Morton, the playwright and star of 2007’s Pulitzer-winning “August: Osage County,” here face off as George and Martha, paunchy history professor (that is, associate professor) at a small New England college, and his wife, daughter of the college president "

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