MARQUEE VALUE: Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?
By Matthew Blank
The Steppenwolf Theatre Company's production of Edward Albee's Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? will play Broadway's intimate Booth Theatre, currently home to Other Desert Cities.
Performances of the 50th-anniversary Broadway production of the comic drama about the shattering of marital illusions and the breakdown of civility — all at a late-night cocktail party for four — will begin Sept. 27 toward an opening night of Oct. 13, "exactly 50 years to the day of the play’s original Broadway opening on Saturday, Oct. 13, 1962." (Other Desert Cities ends its run June 17.)
photos by Monica Simoes
As she did for Steppenwolf in Chicago in 2010 (and when the production played Arena Stage in Washington, DC, in 2011), Tony Award nominee Pam MacKinnon (Clybourne Park) directs. She's worked with Albee before, on New York productions of Peter and Jerry (now called At Home at the Zoo) and Occupant, as well as regional productions of A Delicate Balance, The Goat and more.
As previously reported, the earlier Steppenwolf foursome will reunite to play their parts for Broadway: Tracy Letts and Amy Morton, the respective playwright and the star of the Pulitzer and Tony Award-winning hit August: Osage County, are married George and Martha; Carrie Coon and Madison Dirks are "the unwitting young couple invited over to George and Martha’s for an unforgettable night of cocktails and crossfire."
Letts is a busy actor and playwright who has been a member of the Steppenwolf ensemble since 2002. Previous Steppenwolf productions include Middletown, American Buffalo, Betrayal, The Pillowman, Last of the Boys, The Pain and the Itch, The Dresser, Homebody/Kabul, The Dazzle, Glengarry Glen Ross (also Dublin and Toronto), Three Days of Rain and many others.
Morton, a Steppenwolf ensemble member since 1997, has appeared there in August: Osage County (also Broadway, London and Sydney), One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest (also Broadway), Betrayal, Last of the Boys, The Well-Appointed Room, Berlin Circle, The Royal Family, Homebody/Kabul, Three Days of Rain, The Unmentionables, The Cherry Orchard, The Time of Your Life and many others. Her directing credits include Clybourne Park, American Buffalo, Our Country's Good, The Weir, Glengarry Glen Ross, Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, Dublin Carol, Topdog/Underdog, We All Went Down to Amsterdam, The Pillowman, Love-Lies-Bleeding, The Dresser and Awake and Sing.
Coon's credits include The March and the upcoming Three Sisters (Steppenwolf Theatre Company); The Girl in the Yellow Dress (Next Theatre Company); The Real Thing (Writers’ Theatre); Magnolia (Goodman Theatre); and Bronte (Remy Bumppo Theatre Company).
Dirks also appeared with Steppenwolf Theatre Company in Gary. His credits include The Chosen Girl; 20 (Serendipity Theatre), A Man For All Seasons (TimeLine Theatre Company); The Last Supper (Infusion Theatre); Hillbilly Antigone (Lookingglass Theatre).
Here's how the 2012 revival of Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? is billed by the producers: "On the campus of a small New England college, George and Martha invite a new professor and his wife home for a nightcap. As the cocktails flow, the young couple finds themselves caught in the crossfire of a savage marital war where the combatants attack the self-deceptions they forged for their own survival. Steppenwolf ensemble members Tracy Letts and Amy Morton face off as one of theatre's most notoriously dysfunctional couples in Albee's hilarious and harrowing masterpiece."
The Broadway production will feature the original Steppenwolf creative team: Todd Rosenthal (set design), Nan Cibula-Jenkins (costume design), Allen Lee Hughes (light design) and Rob Milburn and Michael Bodeen (sound design).
The production will be presented on Broadway by Jeffrey Richards, Jerry Frankel, Susan Quint Gallin and Mary Lu Roffe. Richards and Frankel previously teamed up with Steppenwolf (artistic director Martha Lavey and executive director David Hawkanson) to present Letts' August: Osage County and Superior Donuts on Broadway.
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