强烈推荐: Who is afraid of Virginia Woolf? 10/19/2009 21:07
Boston's Public Theatre (http://www.publicktheatre.com/) is showing its production of Edward Albee's 1962 play "Who is afraid of Virginia Woolf?"

Edward Albee got two Pulitzer Prize and is regarded as the most successful modern play writer. The play was first played by Broadway and later was made into a movie in which Elizabeth Taylor played Martha and Richard Burton played Martha’s husband George.

The current Public Theatre production is directed by the artistic director Diego Arciniegas. It is absolutely a great show not to miss.

因为访谈了艺术指导, 心理有压力, 反而这篇评论迟迟写不出来. 但是这部剧只演到本月24号. 所以只好先在这里直白的喊一嗓子.

大家争取去看, 这么好看的不容易直接看到. 而且票价不贵, 5 点后去还可以买到 rush hour ticket. 其次现在经济不好, 本地的艺术团体的生存受到挑战 (http://www.boston.com/ae/theater_arts/exhibitionist/2009/10/breaking_shakes.html).

希望支持本地杰出的艺术团体. support support

I saw Nicole Kidman's movie The Hours. It is about Virginia Woolf, too.

I always admire women authors and their legends.
Himalaya at 10/19/2009 21:16 快速引用
Himalaya :

I saw Nicole Kidman's movie The Hours. It is about Virginia Woolf, too.

I always admire women authors and their legends.

However, this one doesn't have much to do with Virginia Woolf.

You will have to see it to experience the power of the play.

It is a POWERFUL play and it touches personal relationships and marital relationships and much more......
wildcrane at 10/19/2009 21:24 快速引用
wildcrane :
Himalaya :

I saw Nicole Kidman's movie The Hours. It is about Virginia Woolf, too.

I always admire women authors and their legends.

However, this one doesn't have much to do with Virginia Woolf.

You will have to see it to experience the power of the play.

It is a POWERFUL play and it touches personal relationships and marital relationships and much more......

听你这么一说,我还真想看看。争取了!谢谢推荐!! happy
Himalaya at 10/19/2009 21:39 快速引用
wildcrane at 10/19/2009 22:21 快速引用

Aging history professor George, and his razor-tongued wife Martha, have returned home from yet another tedious faculty event at a small New England college. But the night is far from over.

Martha has invited a young new professor and his mousey wife for late-night cocktails and parlor conversation. Pleasantries dissolve as the liquor flows, and the party devolves into an escalating war of words between George and Martha. The young couple is soon drawn into the volcanic battle, exposing secrets within their own marriage. By dawn, no one remains unscathed.

Edward Albee’s penetrating and harrowing exploration of marital strife and truth versus illusion features Tina Packer and Nigel Gore as George and Martha.

Approximate Running Time: 3 hours, including one intermission.

Recommended for adult audiences due to mature themes, language, and content.
wildcrane at 10/20/2009 11:11 快速引用
这俩天在研究Edward Albee's Who is afraid of Virginia Woolf? 时才对上了号。

不过应该还是看剧来得更immediate and intimate because of the small setting.

能赶上的人真的别错过了。我个人认为这个真算得上一个world class的演出。 不看可惜。 support
wildcrane at 10/21/2009 17:00 快速引用

“Who’s afraid of Virginia Woolf..?”

“…I am, George, I am,” Martha answered. She was a vulnerable child at the end of the play in George’s arm.

“Who is afraid of Virginia Woolf?” was written by Edward Albee, who is regarded as one of the most important modern playwrights, and was first produced by Broadway in 1962. It brought Albee controversial success and was later made into a Hollywood movie (1966) with Elizabeth Taylor playing Martha and Richard Burton playing George.

In this new production by Boston’s Public Theatre, Diego Arciniegas is the artistic director, and Tina Packer plays Martha and Nigel Gore plays George. Comparing to the movie, Tina Packer’s Martha is more childlike and more mischievous on top of her viciousness. Nigel Gore’s George walks a little lame and carries a manner like a half-defeated intellectual and he looks more like a small college professor than Richard Burton’s George in my opinion. Also comparing to the movie, the couple in the new production seem to enjoy a lot more about their game playing and tearing each other apart, while in the movie the relationship seems to be gloomier and there is more than anger and disappointment but some hatred between the two.

The new production is shown at the Plaza Theatre at Boston Center for the Arts. The stage set is simple. The audience faces a window with Venetian blind down to the left and a door in the middle. There are two sofas in the living room and two exits off the stage. To the right of the stage is a big wall-bookcase with part of it being the wine parlor. The audience sits in a half circle enclosing the stage. The theatre is not big so the relationship between the audience and the performers are a close and intermediate one. If during the first act one feels that one is watching a ‘dysfunctional’ couple reaping each other apart, one will feel as involved as the two young guests in the play during the second and the third act.

Absurd is the reality. In life, we are all afraid of Virginia Woolf (as allusion to reality) as we all need illusion or some kind of device to create meaning. The young couple in the play who seem to have a more normal marital relationship has a questionable foundation. Toward the end of the play we see the seemingly ‘dysfunctional’ couple may have a much stronger relationship. Martha truly is disappointed with George not being aggressive enough to climb up the social ladder. But she also truly “fell for him” and only George “who has ever … made me happy” and who “keeps learning the games we play as quickly as I can change the rules” (from the Exorcism act).

Edward Albee used the term “false illusion” when he talked about the play in an interview. I have not found analysis regarding the difference between false and not-false illusion. However, in the play, the baby illusion ceased to give meaning and to sustain the relationship and it became another game for them to tear each other apart. I speculate that whether in this sense of a failing device it becomes a false illusion and needs to be shattered into pieces. But what comes after the illusion? Many critics think that the couple will be better off once they can face the reality. Although it is true that we all become freer once we accept certain undeniable reality, I question that it is Edward Albee’s vision. In the third act, George questioned, “Truth and illusion. Who knows the difference, eh, toots? Eh?” Yes, who knows the difference? Edward Albee intentionally made the distinction between illusion and reality ambiguous.

What is more important to Martha is not about truth but whether the illusion functions and whether George plays along. It is therefore heart-breaking to see the seemingly ‘dominant’ and ‘powerful’ Martha to collapse when George told her, “I have the right, Martha. We never spoke of it; that’s all. I could kill him any time I wanted to.”

What will come after the end of the play when their imaginative son is killed? I believe George answered it in the second act after destroying the illusion of a happy marriage between Nick and Honey. He said to Nick, “Yeah … go pick up the pieces and plan some new strategy.” At the end of the play, George was holding Martha and both were exhausted and frightened. The audience was similarly exhausted after a three-hour intense experience. The seemingly defeated George indeed has more strength so is the strength of Nigel Gore.

When I had a chance to have a phone conversation with the artist director Diego Arciniegas, I wondered what made him choose this play. “How is it relevant to you after more than 50 years since the play’s first production?”

He explained that besides the universal truth in the personal relationships, he chose it also because of its Geo-political relevance. “We haven’t lived to the promise of the original premise of democracy.” Martha’s father is a dictator who crashes free expression and George is forced not to publish his book.

The play was written in the Cold War era, but Mr. Arciniegas believes that it is more relevant now than it was fifty years ago. “As a country, it has gone through the darkest era. When power is centered in one place – the government, it is dangerous.” He believes that the principles that this country founded upon were challenged in the last eight years to a degree that was more than any time in the past 50 years.

I also asked him that in reality we all need some kind of device to sustain meaning of life, whether it is marriage, children, climbing up the social ladder, becoming rich or art. “What is your device?”

Theater art “is the device I have chosen to invest my time and life. It wasn’t a rational but an instinctual choice that I feel most comfortable. It wasn’t really a choice but a need.” Diego Arciniegas also teaches acting in the Theatre Studies Department at Wellesley, which he considers himself at the “peripheral of academic.” “But art seems the most efficient tool to grapple the questions I am asking in life. To examine ideas and to explore thoughts rather than being a philosopher, I can through recreate to understand life that academic life doesn’t.”

He specifically pointed out that art is not a supplement but a complement in creating a meaning for life. “It is all about achieving balance, the spirit, the physical and the intellectual.”

I had planned to ask him “whether art as a device is the same as any other device or it is simply another illusion some people choose,” but I decided to stop. We probably are all afraid of Virginia Woolf, and achieving a balance should be a good shield.

Edward Albee expressed that he hoped that his audience would experience his plays with no preconceived notions, when he was interviewed by American Theatre Wing’s acclaimed weekly theatrical interview program. I went to the play without knowing a thing about it and came out shaken and unsettled, questioning my own reality and illusion. And since I saw the play, I have been immersed myself in knowing more about the playwright and his work. If I have a chance to meet Edward Albee, I’d like him know that I think this reproduction of his play is quite powerful, as meanwhile I have struggled not to be immersed.

Interview with Diego Arciniegas was conducted on: 10/18/2009.

For more reviews of this superb production, please check here.
wildcrane at 7/09/2010 18:09 快速引用
[Time : 0.041s | 11 Queries | Memory Usage: 718.85 KB]