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Dramaworks' At Home at the Zoo superb

May 06 2009
Bill Hirschman | Sun-Sentinel

Like Samuel Beckett's Waiting for Godot, the precise meaning of Edward Albee's plays usually dance just a few inches out of discernable reach. But when expertly and incisively performed, such as Palm Beach Dramaworks' superb production of At Home at the Zoo, they guarantee hours of after-curtain discussion. The triumph of the production is the intense rehearsal work of director William Hayes and his cast, who excavated inscrutable dialogue for meanings embedded in the pauses among everyday speech and the feverish passions boiling under a placid surface. The subtleties they discovered and illuminate in Homelife, in particular, are as profound as those in Virginia Woolf. Lowe has never been better communicating the quiet desperation of housewives you meet in the grocery store. Swan, a newcomer here, is inexplicably compelling and nuanced as a buttoned-down everyman. And Durkin simply nails the impossible role of the anguished man driven near madness. One warning: Homelife contains a brutal stretch of graphic and frank discussion of sex. Initially, it seems gratuitous, but it becomes clear that the exchange is crucial to the core of the play...