Get SF Weekly Newsletters
Pin It

A Delicate Balance 

It should be a lavish, funny dream, but instead it's mysteriously dull

Wednesday, Mar 19 2003
Edward Albee's three-act play about an unstable family veering close to disaster should be a rich, lavish, decadent dream, populated by complacent men and talkative, shrewish women. It should also be funny, and a little surreal, because the central event involves an adult couple arriving in a cold sweat, frightened like children by a nameless horror inside their Westchester County house. Harry and Edna just want to climb into bed. Agnes and Tobias, their hosts, send them upstairs, where the scared couple appropriates a bedroom. Julia -- Agnes and Tobias' daughter -- comes home, and cannot stand the idea of two middle-aged people sleeping in her bed. Since the story is so frivolous, the play's power lives in the domestic passions boiling just under the surface, and the drama itself is a delicate balance -- it needs a conviction from the actors that no one in the cast can muster. Richard Harder's slackly directed show is a mess of loose ends and unfelt lines, strange pauses and forgotten words. Barbara Michelson sometimes rises to eloquence in her speeches as Claire, Agnes' drunken, truth-telling sister, but otherwise the production is mysteriously dull.


Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Popular Stories

  1. Most Popular Stories
  2. Stories You Missed


  • clipping at Brava Theater Sept. 11
    Sub Pop recording artists 'clipping.' brought their brand of noise-driven experimental hip hop to the closing night of 2016's San Francisco Electronic Music Fest this past Sunday. The packed Brava Theater hosted an initially seated crowd that ended the night jumping and dancing against the front of the stage. The trio performed a set focused on their recently released Sci-Fi Horror concept album, 'Splendor & Misery', then delved into their dancier and more aggressive back catalogue, and recent single 'Wriggle'. Opening performances included local experimental electronic duo 'Tujurikkuja' and computer music artist 'Madalyn Merkey.'"