Dramaworks strikes a 'Balance' capturing Albee's insight, poetry
You might call Edward Albee's A Delicate Balance an adult take on the fears that convinced us as children that a monster lurked under the bed. But the monsters of maturity aren't so easily dispelled. Palm Beach Dramaworks' production of the Pulitzer Prize-winning play will provoke thought, if not always engage sympathy, as is so often the case with Albee's stories. By the play's end, you're likely to feel chilled, and not just because few of the characters are likable. It's not comfortable, but probably common, to be ambushed by a nameless terror as age catches up with us, particularly if we've evaded intimacy and self-knowledge, as Albee's characters do. ...Director William Hayes slowly revs up the emotional stakes, while keeping a balance between Albee's meditations on the inner poverty of his well-heeled characters and the largely naturalistic – if undoubtedly bizarre – narrative... ...Maureen Anderman's Agnes...lines pierce like an arrow, particularly as Agnes tries to smooth over the rifts that sunder the ground beneath her feet. Dennis Creaghan injects modest heroism into the well-meaning but ineffectual Tobias. Creaghan's scene toward the end of the show, when Tobias pleads with his friends to stay, are the show's most honest and passionate moments. As Claire, Angie Radosh's potshots are always expertly aimed, providing comic relief to a largely dark story. Anne Bates' Julia...will be familiar to parents whose adult children cling to the nest. Laura Turnbull and Rob Donohoe deliver well-modulated performances as the hapless Edna and Harry. At three acts, the play requires patience of its audience. But Dramaworks' capable interpretation of Albee's insightful – and often surprisingly poetic play– makes it well worth the wait.