The one word I would use to describe this new production is 'chic' - Ann Roth's costumes, the set design, and the lighting flourishes are just so plush and gorgeous.
Glenda R isn't afraid to go anywhere - she delves so deep into the ugly contradictions of her ailing character and never winks for audience sympathy. She is hilarious, devastating, ferocious - I don't know, it's almost as if Albee wrote this part just for her - a role big enough for her incredible talents (and who knows, maybe he did - it was written in 1994, just two years after she was elected to Parliament - perhaps he was trying to lure her back to the stage ). She was born for this role - more than Women in Love, more than Hedda Gabler, more than Lear... It's just a perfect, perfectly pitched performance.
Laurie Metcalf also deftly handles the shifts from comedy to tragedy - a totally mesmerizing stage presence at the peak of her craft. And Alison Pill (as the least interesting, least developed character) doesn't seem out of her depth at all - she has definitely studied Jackson's performance and modeled her work from there - you totally see hints of the woman her character will become.
What is really awesome about this is that in a season of big revivals - Kusher and O'Neill it's Albee, maybe the greatest writer of those 3 (indeed maybe the great American playwright ever?) that ends up standing the tallest (no pun intended!). I say that because even though AiA is going to be the big Tony winner this year and O'Neill occupies a very unique place in theater, Albee in some ways beats them at their own game.
First, his plays cover a wide subject matter and sort of are immune to being politicized or social critiques - the text stands alone and to play it, it needs to be served - the staging is of less importance (though not unimportant either, its just text first). Secondly, you almost never find any showing off in his plays - you often have to read and re-read them or see multiple productions before they click. Yet he writes great parts for actors.
I really would like to have seen this - my favorite Albee play is The Zoo Story (or "Peter & Jerry", the original play only, he later expanded it), his first play from 1959 and Three Tall Women was written 30 years later - he's just had an amazing run when you look at his whole career.
I'm so glad you got to see it and it lived up to the hype, there's nothing like seeing a great actor and Jackson is most definitely that, in person. In our thread about the "best actor and actress across all 3 mediums", her colleague, Maggie Smith was also mentioned in that thread and played this role rather famously too but I do think this role seems just perfectly suited to Jackson.
February 27, 2017 at 12:06 : distain (pupdurcs) posted on Gold Derby:
Thanks for posting. I really hope this transfers to London!
Were you able to see her King Lear at the Old Vic? So many critics hailed it as the best performance they had ever seen - across all mediums. I can't believe the adaptation didn't come to New York... And I also can't believe that she lost the Olivier to Billie fucking Piper, of all people. Thank God Piper's play transferred to New York Off-Broadway - if she had beat Glenda R for the Tony, too, I think I might actually have seethed.
Were you able to see her King Lear at the Old Vic? So many critics hailed it as the best performance they had ever seen - across all mediums. I can't believe the adaptation didn't come to New York...
Oh man I would've loved to have seen her Lear.
Btw, has there ever been a greater "comeback" to the theater? Off the top of my head idk who else. I mean after 25 years away, 80 years old, she returns to maybe the most revered role ever, making it her own. Hailed too. Now at 82 she could (will?) win the Tony for another highly acclaimed performance.
Now lets see if Scott Rudin can find her another film to do.
Were you able to see her King Lear at the Old Vic?
No, I left it too late to get good seats when booking was announced two years ago and due to some major life events going on in late 2016 I was distracted with other stuff. Of course, I regret going now. But hopefully this will transfer. I'm sure Glenda would appreciate a twenty minute drive home after each performance!