With Turner and Irwin, `Woolf' has sharp claws

Edward Albee's taut, tart, subversive play crackles with tension yet celebrates human spirit

Theater Review

January 14, 2007|By J. Wynn Rousuck | J. Wynn Rousuck,Sun Theater Critic

Four decades after its premiere, Edward Albee's Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? has lost none of its sting. That's demonstrated with piercing precision in the production launching its national tour at Washington's Kennedy Center.

On the surface, "precision" may seem the wrong word for what goes on in this play - a dark-night-of-the-soul account of a middle-aged professor and his wife who "entertain" a young couple by subjecting them, along with themselves, to a series of lacerating mind games: "Humiliate the Host," "Get the Guests," etc.

WHO'S AFRAID OF VIRGINIA WOOLF -- Through Jan. 28 at the Kennedy Center, Washington. -- $25-$78. -- 800-444-1324 or kennedy-center.org

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