THIS IS ALBEE’S Most personal play. An in depth portrait of his adoptive mother. The premise of the play is that at different times in our life we are completely different people. So different we wouldn’t even like ourselves. In Act one she talks like a retired witch. But wow – what an enchanting Act One. The audience was overwhelmed with fresh scintillating talk. Superbly paced and so right. It’s ecstasy and agony. Everyone was bent over with laughter. She has a cool, throaty voice. You could say that the old Lady was pretending or actually not remembering. But the audience’s roaring laughter continued during the first Act.
In Act One Michaela Greeley gives a tour de force performance as a difficult 92 year old woman. She is filthy rich, but forgets to pay her bills. Hey, she does that with me also. Her uproarious laughter – is off and on – she forgets where she is. Well- that is what the show is all about. The Old Lady talks a lot and also forgets a lot. But what Charm – she has styleness like you’ve never seen before.
The room is stunning. What you see is a bright red Devan cover and a lovely pillow (slanted). Above the Devan is a rich looking hanging light over the bed. The elderly woman cries off and on — and then she has everyone laughing. And believe me – she knows how to control everyone. If you watched Katherine Hepburn in the Movies — you hear here sharp voice at this play. It certainly sounds very much like Hepburn.
She may be frail – but she has courage and power. The lustrous gems wear are lovely. She pretends that she doesn’t know that they are there. he doesn’t remember hardly any thing – but that is not true. Her eyes reflect everything. She knows the cost of around her expensive jewelry. Everyone wants to wear her stunning Jewels.
Sometimes she is a little wild, and sometimes she is very unpredictable. She knows beauty when she sees it. Yes, she may be wild and unbelievable – but she has the power of grandeur and glory.
Feminism brings out spinx-like ciphers. But one moment she is cunning, complicated – but be sure to watch out — she doesn’t always seem charming. We might call it “Cultural psychosis”. She fleets sometimes with a smile — and then leaves us with an open-ended enigma.
We go on the “The Old Lady” in the second act. She is portrayed at 26 – 52. And it went on to Brain Damage at 92. As she gets older she is more cranky and disagreeable. Oh, and by the way – Albee thinks that the first act is more fun and we can sympathize with her “The Old Lady”.
In the first Act – “Old Lady” ( was born Louise Harvey.) They sometimes called her “Frankie”. Terry Bamberger (middle age) – Katharine Otis (Young woman) – Nathan Brown (who is the quite boy, that never speaks).
Yes, The Old Lady was destructive and contemptible. All of us loved it on the stage. Even though she has misplaced pride. She is the Queen.
All in all – it’s a rousing experience! I would say it’s ‘Spectacular’. This amazing story is both sweet and more than creepy – and a lovey tale on many levels.
HERE IS THE MARVELOUS CAST:
Michaela Greely (Frankie) – Terry Bamberger (Middle Age) – Katharine Otis (Young Woman) plus…NATHAN BROWN
RATING: Six Stars ******
or Six Glasses of Champagne ******