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The Impugnic Wars

May 18 2006
Dave Amber | New Times

"George and Martha. Sad, sad, sad." For lovers of the Woolf, those six little words will induce Pavlovian joy. Such a cruel play. Such total destruction. Such delight. Even though Edward Albee's Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? opened just last week at Palm Beach Dramaworks, overheard weeks ago at another play's opening night was: "Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? is my favorite play. I can't wait." The mere reference brings the theater crowd a'scampering. Despite the recent Broadway revival that brought Kathleen Turner to the stage in what was trumpeted as a spectacular turn, it's somewhat curious that there aren't more productions of the play. But watching Morgan and McConnell's work suggested the reason for the scarcity. If you can't create a production that outdoes, or at least equals, the performances in the film, then why bother? The ultimate question in post-play polling of how you feel about what you saw at Dramaworks is: Does your anticipation warrant satisfaction? Should they have bothered? Absolutely. Morgan and McConnell make the play their own baby, so to speak, in the ebb and flow of battles that, at crucial moments, make your breathing stop and carry you along toward the complete meltdown at the end. There's a reason Morgan won this year's Carbonell Best Actress Award for Frozen at GableStage and that last week New Times named McConnell Best Actor of 2006 for his Mosaic Theatre performance in Match. ...William Hayes' tight direction... After Morgan and McConnell get done recycling their tears, this is what the audience has to say as it empties into the street: "They look exhausted." It's not only a brilliant and worthy comment but a genuine compliment to the actors' work (all four of them) and the shared experience that has just torn all of us apart.