Past Reviews

Regional Reviews: Washington, D.C.

Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?
Ford's Theatre
Review by Susan Berlin | Season Schedule

Also see Susan's reviews of Caroline, or Change, Baby Screams Miracle, and As You Like It


Gregory Linington and Holly Twyford
Photo by Scott Suchman
Edward Albee's Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? may not be the shocker it was when it premiered in 1962, but it still captivates and engulfs an audience when the production is as good as the one Aaron Posner has staged at Ford's Theatre in Washington.

Yes, Albee's story of two troubled couples brought together for one excoriating night of accusations and revealed secrets has enough surprises and jolts—and a lot of very dark humor—that its three-hour run time (with two intermissions) speeds past. Posner is working with four actors who understand that taking risks in their performances can result in notable rewards.

First among equals must be Holly Twyford as Martha, who gives an incandescent performance in the literal definition of the word, casting light into the dark corners of her character while also producing heat. She manages to synthesize Martha's loudness, her gleeful exhibitionism, and her insatiable desire for attention while revealing bits of her fear of abandonment and occasional despair. Costume designer Kelsey Hunt has dressed Martha in a way that showcases her (and Twyford's) physical attributes to their maximum advantage.

Gregory Linington plays George, Martha's long-suffering husband, with sly understatement through most of the drama; when he strikes back, he wraps the malice and aggression in snide or condescending humor. But for all that, he gives as good as he gets, bearing the blows that Martha inflicts but maintaining his dignity.

Tall, commanding Danny Gavigan gives a straightforward performance as Nick, the ambitious young professor, while Maggie Wilder (in another of Hunt's gems, a demure flowered dress with pearls) shows Honey's progression as she tries to keep up with the others and eventually becomes close to catatonic. The trip is uncomfortable, but it's also unforgettable.

Ford's Theatre
Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?
January 21st – February 19th, 2017
Martha: Holly Twyford
George: Gregory Linington
Nick: Danny Gavigan
Honey: Maggie Wilder
Directed by Aaron Posner
511 Tenth St., N.W.
Washington, DC
Ticket Information: 202-347-4833 or www.fords.org


Privacy Policy