Two-time Tony and three-time Emmy winner Laurie Metcalf and two-time Emmy winner Eddie Izzard will star on Broadway in Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? It’ll be directed by two-time Tony winner Joe Mantello and co-star Russell Tovey and Patsy Ferran.
According to Broadway.com with this show, Metcalf will have the distinction of starring on Broadway four seasons in a row, following A Doll’s House, Part 2; Three Tall Women and, currently, Hillary and Clinton. Izzard will makes his return to Broadway, his first time in ten years, after he debuted in A Day in the Death of Joe Egg.
In 1962, WAOVW stunned Broadway audiences with its scary portrait of a marriage, and Edward Albee became the most important American playwright of his generation overnight. The New York Times said at the time that it,
“towers over the common run of contemporary plays.”
It won five Tonys, including Best Play and lead acting prizes for its two stars Uta Hagen and Arthur Hill.
Four years later, Mike Nichols directed the iconic film starring the real-life couple, Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton. It made Oscar history as the first film to be nominated in every single category it was eligible for. It won for Best Actress, Best Supporting Actress, Best Art Direction, and Best Costume Design.
Nichols’ insistence that the film adhere to Albee’s heavy use of profanity created a standoff between the studio and the MPAA. The Catholic Church said via its censorship group, it was
“morally unobjectionable for adults.”
It ended up being the first film Warner Bros. ever released with a rating
“For adults only”
No one under the age of 18 could see the film without being accompanied by an adult.
As a child I saw the trailer for the film somehow (or a clip from the Oscar’s) and thought it was a horror movie like What Ever Happened to Baby Jane? Then I saw it as an adult and realized it WAS a horror movie. The performances are frightening –and brilliant. It still holds up as masterful in every way, starting with the words on the page and ending with Liz Taylor’s seminal on-screen performance as Martha..
Martha: “I cry allllll the time; but deep inside, so no one can see me. I cry all the time. And Georgie cries all the time, too. We both cry all the time, and then what we do, we cry, and we take our tears, and we put ’em in the ice box, in the goddamn ice trays until they’re all frozen and then… we put them… in our… drinks.” –WAOVW
And next spring, nearly sixty years after its legendary Broadway premiere, you can bet Metcalf will chew the set, spit it out and win herself another Best Actress Tony.
Produced by Scott Rudin, a limited engagement will start on Monday, March 2, 2020.
(Photos, YouTube, screen grab; via Broadway.com)