Classic Weekend (Albee and Beckett)

We saw both “A Delicate Balance”, Edward Albee’s Pulitzer Prize winning play, and Samuel Beckett’s “Krapp’s Last Tape”, this weekend.

“A Delicate Balance” is (as is often the case for Albee) an attack on the wealthy WASP couple, this time by means of an alcoholic sister, a daughter separated from her fourth husband, and another couple, their best friends, another WASP couple, who came in the middle of the night because they were “afraid” to stay at home. Wonderful writing, more questions asked than answered, good performances, but for some reason not quite satisfactory.

“Krapp’s Last Tape”, on the other hand, is a short, one-act, one-actor play, a 69 year old man who makes a tape every year recounting his past year, both makes his current tape, plays a 30 year old tape, and starts the play with almost 30 minutes of very dull pantomiming.  And the entire play was only 65 minutes long.  I thought that this play should be performed at Abu Ghraib, but no……it would be considered torture.  OK, Becket is a minimalist, and it would be hard to get more minimalist than this.  As to the actor, I can’t comment – having seen him before in “Judas Iscariot” at Forum last year, I know he is a wonderful actor, and perhaps you just can’t do this any better than he did.

Before  the Albee, we had supper at La Bettola in Arlington, an Italian restaurant where no one is Italian.  And I had to send back the inedible salmon, and replaced with Chicken Francese, which was just fine.


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