Act One: Fun and Games. Act Two: Walpurgisnacht. Act Three: The Exorcism. It won’t be the easiest night you’ll ever spend at the theater, but it might be one of the most important. When Edward Albee’s incendiary play opened in 1962, it exploded every norm of decorum in American theater with its devastating dive into the marriage of George and Martha, a middle-aged couple (played in the 1966 film version by Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor) who, over the course of three hours, with the unwitting participation of a younger couple, Nick and Honey, shred every precious, shared illusion that has kept them functioning together. The wit is savage and exhilarating, the truth-telling brutal, and the finale as cathartic as a Greek tragedy. The booze flows freely over what New York Times critic Charles Isherwood once called “the blood sport” of the evening’s living room entertainment. Productions of this play don’t come around often, so don’t miss this. It’ll change everything you think you know about what theater can do.
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