I walked into the play uncertain how it would be. While I thought Kathleen Turner would make a good Martha I had heard snippets of Bill Irwin as George and his vocal cadence seemed odd to me. Within the first few minutes I was completely convinced. Irwin was amazing, he was a teapot just about to boil, a man of tics and quirks that felt like they had developed over years and years of living the difficult, trying, extremely dysfunctional life he and Martha had constructed for themselves.
Just by chance our tickets were in the second row, in the Pit normally used by the orchestra. From that close, I could see every facial change and every expression from all the cast members. It was marvelous and I was entranced the entire play.
"Virginia Woolf" is already on my list of the ten essential plays that everyone should see (in a good production). I'd already seen a wonderful production of it a few years ago at OSF Ashland. This one was deeper, more complex, more subtle and more enjoyable (and the OSF Ashland production was already one of my top play performances).
This production is touring around the country, and I would highly highly recommend it. "Virginia Woolf" is not an easy play. It is engrossing, sad, funny, touching, stimulating, controversial, challenging and this production with Turner and Irwin is all those descriptive words and more. Astounding. Just astounding.