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Virginia Woolf

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By Judith Schlesinger and Judith Schlesinger,Special to the Sun | December 10, 2000
"Who's Afraid of Leonard Woolf: A Case for the Sanity of Virginia Woolf," by Irene Coates. Soho Press. 458 pages. $25. Every suicide haunts with unanswered questions of intent and blame. Until now, the consensus from Virginia Woolf's rich legacy of novels, essays, biographies, letters and diaries was that she was doomed by mental illness despite 30 years of devoted, anguished caretaking by her husband, Leonard. Now we hear that she drowned herself because of his brutal "left brain" oppression, and any "madness" she displayed was a deliberate artistic choice.
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By Tim Smith, The Baltimore Sun | March 10, 2011
George and Martha, America's first couple of dysfunction, are back onstage, biting and scratching and spitting their way to the truth in "Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf. " As usual, they take no prisoners. These warring spouses come to life with devastating force in the Steppenwolf Theatre Company production of Edward Albee's searing play, presented by Arena Stage as part of a comprehensive, two-month Albee festival. When the brilliant revival of "Virginia Woolf" with Kathleen Turner and Bill Irwin appeared on Broadway in 2005 (it played the Kennedy Center a couple of years later)
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By Donna Rifkind and Donna Rifkind,Special to The Sun | April 16, 1995
"Virginia Woolf," by James King. Illustrated. 699 pages. New York: Norton. $35Who's afraid of Virginia Woolf? Her latest biographer, James King, for one. His new book can be judged by its cover: burnished gold letters on a serious black field, from which Mrs. Woolf's magnificent head looms in a photograph by Man Ray. Make no mistake, this jacket says: This is not biography but hagiography, not so much a look at the real Virginia Woolf as a hallelujah to the stony goddess of women's studies by a cringing academic pilgrim.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Mary Carole McCauley and Mary Carole McCauley,mary.mccauley@baltsun.com | December 14, 2008
It's a detail that the audience will never, in a million years, pick up from the darkened confines of Center Stage's Pearlstone Theater. Not even the actors are likely to look closely at that most unassuming of props: a partially empty bottle of Clorox. But Ellen Nielsen knows that the label contains three sections of advertising copy that actually was used on bottles of bleach in 1963, when Center Stage's current production, Caroline, or Change, is set. After all, Nielsen researched and found the exact wording, not to mention the precise weight and sheen of paper used to make labels in the early 1960s.
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By Victoria Brownworth and Victoria Brownworth,special to the sun | May 11, 1997
"Virginia Woolf," by Hermione Lee. Knopf. 900 pages. $39.95.Descriptives like "fresh" and "definitive" are frequently bandied about when discussing new biographies of old subjects; rarely are they accurate. Hermione Lee's work is both fresh and, unequivocally, definitive.One can hardly imagine a better or more comprehensive book on the premiere woman of letters of the 20th century. Absolutely mammoth, the book never bores. Lee's thorough research is matched by a vitality in her prose rarely found in the too-often tedious biography genre.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Mary Carole McCauley and Mary Carole McCauley,mary.mccauley@baltsun.com | November 2, 2008
There's a reason that Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? takes place in the enervating brown light of 2 a.m., as if viewed through a glass of brandy. Outside the windows, everything is dark. Inside, it's not much brighter. The four characters have pushed beyond tired and inebriated to a stumbling exhaustion. As Nick, a young professor says, "After a while, you don't get any drunker, do you?" In other words, they are at their most vulnerable. When the social order is overturned - when spouse attacks spouse, and hosts turn upon their guests - the four don't have a chance of protecting themselves.
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By Michael Hill | January 3, 1991
Masterpiece Theatre checks in Sunday night with an extraordinary one-part, one-hour, one-woman show as Eileen Atkins plays Virginia Woolf in "A Room of One's Own."This is essentially an edited recitation of a lecture Woolf gave in 1928 at one of Cambridge's quasi-official women's colleges, though, as Alistair Cooke notes in his informative introduction, Atkins is not doing an impersonation of Woolf.While Atkins may resemble Woolf with her elongated face and the proto-Annie Hall look favored by this brightest star of the literary constellation known as the Bloomsbury Group, Cooke points out that Atkins' trained dramatic voice is much, much better than Woolf's high-pitched tremble.
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By Victoria A. Brownworth and Victoria A. Brownworth,SPECIAL TO THE SUN | November 3, 1996
Who's afraid of Virginia Woolf? The answer to Edward Albee's famous question must be: Biographers are afraid. Virginia Woolf is indisputably the most important and iconoclastic novelist of the 20th century, but a biography has yet to be written that both illumines her massive literary achievement and explores her complex private life. At fault: sexism, feminism and Freud.Panthea Reid appears to tread fearlessly into the arena of genius with "Art and Affection: A Life of Virginia Woolf" (Oxford University Press, 545 pages.
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By R.N. Marshall and R.N. Marshall,SPECIAL TO THE SUN | January 22, 2004
Feminist writer and publisher Virginia Woolf and poet-novelist Vita Sackville-West shared a complex, tempestuous, passionate and inspirational relationship for 20 years until Woolf's suicide in 1941. The saga of these two women's lives together, based on their correspondence, has been beautifully crafted into a play by acclaimed actress Eileen Atkins. Vita & Virginia will be presented by Rep Stage, the professional theater company in residence at Howard Community College in Columbia, beginning Jan. 30. Premiering off-Broadway in 1994, Vita & Virginia was directed by Zoe Caldwell with Atkins in the role of the sensitive and often emotionally troubled Woolf and the adventuresome and brash Sackville-West played by Vanessa Redgrave.
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January 9, 2007
Theater `Virginia Woolf' in D.C. for a month A touring production of Ed ward Albee's Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? is at the Kenne dy Center for the Performing Arts through Jan. 28. Today's performance is at 7:30 p.m. in the Eisenhower Theater, 2700 F St. N.W., Washington. Tickets are $25-$78. Call 800-444-1324 or go to ken nedy-center.org.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Mary Carole McCauley and Mary Carole McCauley,mary.mccauley@baltsun.com | November 2, 2008
There's a reason that Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? takes place in the enervating brown light of 2 a.m., as if viewed through a glass of brandy. Outside the windows, everything is dark. Inside, it's not much brighter. The four characters have pushed beyond tired and inebriated to a stumbling exhaustion. As Nick, a young professor says, "After a while, you don't get any drunker, do you?" In other words, they are at their most vulnerable. When the social order is overturned - when spouse attacks spouse, and hosts turn upon their guests - the four don't have a chance of protecting themselves.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Mary Carole McCauley and Mary Carole McCauley,mary.mccauley@baltsun.com | October 26, 2008
Think of 2008 as the new New Frontier. The calendar might indicate that we're in the 21st century. But in merchandise display windows, on stage and on the large and small screen - and yes, even in politics - America seemingly is returning to the early, buttoned-down 1960s. Not long ago, society was enamored of the Greatest Generation. As the 50th anniversary of Pearl Harbor passed, we were bombarded with television specials, movies and fashion trends all inspired by the so-called "Last Good War."
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By Mary Carole McCauley and Mary Carole McCauley,Sun theater critic | April 15, 2008
Center Stage never has been a theater company for wimps, and the slate of six shows to be staged during the 2008-2009 season has the potential to deliver a powerful left hook. Four of the six shows scheduled for next season take as their subject matter such dark themes as incest, race relations and a terrifyingly toxic marriage. Things lighten up for the first show of the season - a classic light romance - and the last, a mischievous new comedy about backstage antics. The season contains the qualities that have become Center Stage hallmarks during Irene Lewis' 17-year tenure as the troupe's artistic director.
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By J. Wynn Rousuck and J. Wynn Rousuck,Sun theater critic | February 8, 2007
Yasmina Reza's Life x 3 is a play that owes a debt to Copenhagen, Rashomon and Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? Like Michael Frayn's Copenhagen and Akira Kurosawa's movie Rashomon, it re-examines a central event from varying angles. And like Edward Albee's Virginia Woolf, the setup is an evening with two academic couples. Yet Reza's play (translated from the French by Christopher Hampton) defaults on the debt it owes its strong forebears. The central problem is that if a story is going to be retold several times, it is especially important that it be interesting the first time.
NEWS
By J. Wynn Rousuck and J. Wynn Rousuck,Sun Theater Critic | January 14, 2007
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.
FEATURES
January 9, 2007
Theater `Virginia Woolf' in D.C. for a month A touring production of Ed ward Albee's Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? is at the Kenne dy Center for the Performing Arts through Jan. 28. Today's performance is at 7:30 p.m. in the Eisenhower Theater, 2700 F St. N.W., Washington. Tickets are $25-$78. Call 800-444-1324 or go to ken nedy-center.org.
NEWS
By J. Wynn Rousuck and J. Wynn Rousuck,Sun Theater Critic | January 14, 2007
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.
NEWS
March 4, 1992
Sandy Dennis, 54, the veteran character actress who won an Academy Award for her performance as the whimpering young faculty wife in "Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?," has died. A longtime friend said she learned of Ms. Dennis' death from her agent but didn't know when she died. The actress, who lived in Westport, Conn., with her mother, had been suffering from ovarian cancer. She made her debut in movies in 1961, playing a supporting role in Elia Kazan's "Splendor in the Grass." But she emerged as a star on Broadway, winning two Tony awards in succession for "A Thousand Clowns" and "Any Wednesday."
NEWS
By J. WYNN ROUSUCK and J. WYNN ROUSUCK,SUN THEATER CRITIC | March 12, 2006
On Saturday, Kathleen Chalfant will be a one-woman party. That's when the New York actress will perform The Party - Ellen McLaughlin's adaptation of three Virginia Woolf short stories - at the Theatre Project's annual fundraising gala, an event that is itself a party. Portraying multiple characters - in this case, several partygoers and their hostess - is nothing new for Chalfant. For six years, she played half a dozen roles in Tony Kushner's Angels in America, earning a 1993 Tony Award nomination for her efforts.
FEATURES
By MICHAEL SRAGOW | November 11, 2005
Will audiences flock to the pitiful Derailed to see how Jennifer Aniston was handling her split from Brad Pitt when she was filming it a year ago? Has Robert Downey Jr. overcome the notoriety of his drug busts so that audiences can see what's evident in Kiss Kiss Bang Bang - that he is the most gifted actor of his generation? Pundits blame the fiasco of Gigli on the over-covered affair of Ben Affleck and Jennifer Lopez - just as they ascribe the box-office success of Mr. and Mrs. Smith to the over-covered affair of Pitt and Angelina Jolie.
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