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Oklahoma City Theatre Company's 'Woolf' boasts strong performances



Perhaps the most fascinating thing about "Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?" "? considered Edward Albee's definitive masterpiece "? is how impossible it is to summarize.

The audience does not follow a plot so much as it becomes immersed in the intricacies of truth and illusion. Drinks are made and downed, words become vicious weapons, and dark passions erupt, bringing long-held secrets and fears into the open.

Director Shelley Lytle guides an outstanding cast in a fluid and powerful evening of theater. Pat Hill's fragmented set design of white against dark curtains provides a crisp contrast to the messy lives of the characters, and Brenda Nelson's costumes are spot-on Sixties.

Rick Cheek and Erin Hicks-Cheek, recently seen as Macbeth and Lady Macbeth, successfully take on a completely different duo here. Cheek's Nick appears affable enough at first, but eventually reveals his inclinations as a climber who's not above using women to serve his own ends.

Hicks-Cheek's Honey is adorable, adding a nice light touch as her drunkenness progresses. She's much more complicated than comic relief, however.

Deborah Draheim's dynamic Martha takes the reins at the beginning of the party, hell-bent on raising havoc. Doug Van Liew skillfully portrays a George who hides safely behind a glib low profile (occasionally resulting in volume problems).

In the stunning climax, all four characters experience realizations that will change their lives. Albee's powerful script compels the audience to experience the characters' treacherous, winding road toward truth.

 "?Linda McDonald


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