Edward Albee's 'Women' opens at Center Stage

Critic's Choice : Theater

January 13, 2002|By J. Wynn Rousuck

In 1994, when Three Tall Women won Edward Albee his third Pulitzer Prize, it was hailed as the return of a playwright whose work had become relatively inaccessible to mainstream audiences. Based on his adoptive mother, Three Tall Women focuses on a domineering 92-year-old dowager, her 52-year-old caretaker and a young lawyer. But when an unexpected connection is revealed among these three women, Albee's play turns out to be far less conventional than it first appears.

Center Stage's production, which opens Wednesday, will be the first Albee play the theater has produced since 1974's Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, during whose run the North Avenue theater burned to the ground. One can only hope that Three Tall Women -- which stars Scotty Bloch, Patricia Hodges and Anne Louise Zachry, under Tim Vasen's direction -- will keep its incendiary qualities on the metaphorical level.

Meanwhile, Albee is once again a highly visible presence on the New York theater scene. Last season's The Play About the Baby showed up on 10-best as well as 10-worst year-end lists, and the playwright has two new works opening in New York a week apart -- Occupant opens off-Broadway Feb. 24 and the enigmatically titled The Goat, or Who is Sylvia? opens on Broadway March 3.

Three Tall Women, currently in previews, runs through Feb. 10 at Center Stage, 700 N. Calvert St. Tickets are $10-$48. Call 410-332-0033.

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