Steven Barkhimer's "portrayal is a subtly masterful one. Attired in a bow tie and tan sweater, his hair as lank and listless as his character outwardly seems to be, Barkhimer gives us a deceptively soft George who utilizes the conversational equivalent of Muhammad Ali’s rope-a-dope strategy: He allows Martha to punch herself into exhaustion."Scorching 'Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?' still has plenty to say at Lyric Stage —The Boston Globe
"He is keeping his powder dry, enduring one humiliation after another, but once his wife brings up the topic of “our son,’’ George has one big card to play in his corrosive, high-stakes game with Martha. And when he finally plays it, the effect is devastating."
"We should consider how fortunate we are to be able to experience this brilliant work in such a near-perfect production, especially with (but not limited to) such an extraordinary ensemble."Lyric Stage's "Virginia Woolf": Capping a Tough Night —South Shore Critic
"The playwright, whom we lost just last year, would undoubtedly be pleased with what is quite possibly the finest work from this estimable company in decades, and a bout (an apt word indeed) not soon forgotten. One word of advice: run, don't stagger, to get tickets to this breathtakingly wonderful work."
"...in Edmiston’s staging, and Barkhimer’s intense if avuncular performance, we are given a more threatening George than is usual. Plum is a warm, vulnerable if convincingly vulgar and brassy Martha. But Barkhimer’s George, as the poster art for the production suggests, is utterly in her face. He may be a “bog” in the history department, but this bog has whitecaps."The Lyric Stage's Revival of 'Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?' is Intimate Yet Spectacular —WBUR The ARTery
"As if to remain competitive, the academician alpha-male Nick of Dan Whelton is similarly muscular if more solicitous. He may be a pawn in this parlor, accustomed as the room is to blood sport, but he’s sufficiently smug and strong to think himself a contender. And Erica Spyres’ Honey, given to nimbly drunken flights of modern dance, is both precious and sad."
"What’s superb about Plum’s and Barkhimer’s performances is that despite the vitriol, you sense authentic love between them, which makes the piece work. Dan Whelton is excellent as the frustrated Nick, who doesn’t have the capacity to handle any of the games but tries. Erica Spyres is hilarious as Honey, while giving her depth and ferocity."Tension, Humor Ricochet in Lyric's "Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf" —The Theater Mirror: New England Theater Guide
"Director Scott Edmiston is able to bring out the humor in the play, which playwright Albee complained was missing from the film version... at the end, you can go back to your happier life, knowing it could be a whole lot worse."
"If it has been a while since you have seen Edward Albee’s classic, or if this is your first time, you may be surprised at how many laughs there are in the first act."A Fresh and Very Intense Virginia Woolf —Boxing Over Broadway
"Ms Plum and Mr. Barhimer are a tour de force as George and Martha. Gnawing at each other’s hearts in an alcohol infused rage it is hard to believe, though it is true, they actually love each other."
"...if you crave something more substantial in this frigid winter of our discontent, you will find nothing better than Edward Albee's 1962 barn-burner, Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? at the Lyric Stage Company of Boston."WHO'S AFRAID OF VIRGINIA WOOLF? Will Blow Your House Down —BroadwayWorld.com Boston
Barkhimer, Plum, Whelton, and Spyres are indeed a sublime cast, but Edmiston's vision is the pièce de résistance. He makes this 1962 play feel relevant and powerful, not dated in the least, and blocks the action to aim dramatic focus and build the tension, while not sacrificing the considerable humor in the script. He steadily hammers away at Albee's theme of truth vs. illusion, until it slowly sinks in that we are facing that selfsame dichotomy in the new world order of 2017. "Who's afraid of Virginia Woolf? I am, George...I am."
There's nothing dry about this production, and that's due to more than the way the foursome make frequent trips to the bar to refresh their cocktails. The depiction of love and hate, and of need and disgust, that Albee has wrought is timeless, and his dialogue -- loopy, cunning, conversational threads taking the long way round to jump out and ambush their target -- is funny, driven, and darkly resonant.Kilian Melloy's review of Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? —EdgeBoston
Director Scott Edmiston digs into the play's "lies and mendacity" — a quote from Tennessee Williams, to whom the young Albee was compared at the work's 1962 premiere. The tragicomic confrontations of Albee's characters fit perfectly into Edmiston's gift for coaching actors into the performances of their lives, while guiding them to timing the dialogue and staging exquisite twists of emotions. As a result, the cast does not disappoint, especially by Barkhimer and Plum as George and Martha.Edward Albee's iconic play gets the gut-wrenching production that it deserves —TheaterMania
Scott Edmiston directs this wicked roller coaster of a night with extraordinary control over every perilous twist and turn. George and Martha’s interchanges never go so far off the rails that we and they can’t turn back. In its transcendent final moments this production devastates, the staging and lighting stunning here. There’s a tinge of warmth in the light that slowly wanes on this couple; in these moments we fear for them as they stand in the teeth of the wolf, ALMOST facing each other, fully exposed for the first time. DO NOT MISS “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?” at the Lyric Stage Company through February 12.Joyce's Choices - Review of Who's Afraid of Viginia Woolf? —Joyce's Choices
Albee's haunting gem and Lyric Stage Company's intrepidly fresh revivalLove is a Battlefield —South End News
Thanks to the inspired coaching of director Scott Edmiston and a hard-hitting cast, the latest Hub revival by the Lyric Stage Company of Boston has the knockout impact of a heavy weight champion.
With director Scott Edmiston’s deft guidance, along with an effective design team and a stellar cast, that dual significance reverberates throughout this stirring production.Boston Arts Diary review of "Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?" —Boston Arts Diary
"The cast itself is superb! We've seen them before and they all couldn't be better. Gripping"'Virginia Woolf?' is full of great acting and slashing —The MetroWest Daily News
Steven Barkhimer as George and Paula Plum as Martha would be on anyone’s shortlist of the finest and most consistent actors in Greater Boston.A Battle for the Ages —Rich Fahey's On Boston Stages
You might find you feel like you need a shower after watching George and Martha batter each other into a final exhausted submission, but it is a journey well worth taking, two nonpareil performers working under an accomplished director, getting down and dirty in a battle for the ages.
"A sign of an effective play is when time passes fast...this show moves at breath taking speed."Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? Not the Lyric Stage! —SouthBostonOnline.com, Thursday, January 26, 2017
"The combined result is the restoration of a time piece, a playwright's play, into our century with extraordinary insight. For those who rarely attend the theater, and veteran theater goers alike, this play reminds us of the essence of live drama."
Despite the brutality of it all, Plum, surprisingly, talks about the playfulness she's discovered with costar Steven Barkhimer, who plays George.'Virginia' isn't for lovers: Paula Plum plays Martha in Edward Albee's masterpiece —Wicked Local: Medford
"The play isn't just a bitter diatribe," says Plum, who hasn't performed in the play before, but directed it once. "George and Martha really know how to entertain each other. Albee really captured the sense of a couple that knows each other so well. Even in the darkness, there's a huge amount of comedy."
After suggesting there will be no punches pulled in this "Virginia Woolf," Plum quotes a Bette Davis line that suddenly seems appropriate: "Fasten your seat belts, it's going to be a bumpy night."
In separate interviews, both Edmiston and his actors call the play a prolonged boxing match. The director says the thrust configuration at Lyric Stage Company of Boston, where performances begin on Friday, will enhance the audience’s sense of sitting amid conflict.Bruising stage combat, with words as weapons, in 'Virginia Woolf' —The Boston Globe
“[This production] will make you feel like you’re trapped right in the room with those four people. I do think the play should feel dangerous."
Sparks fly, as George and Martha fight like cats and dogs this month at Lyric Stage Company of Boston in Edward Albee's towering masterpiece "Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?" The classic drama about a marriage on the rocks plays the Copley Square venue Jan. 13-Feb. 12.Marital battleground of 'Virginia Woolf' at Lyric Stage —Lowell Sun
Directed by Scott Edmiston, it stars the esteemed Paula Plum and Steven Barkhimer as the feuding spouses, with Erica Spryes and Dan Whelton as the fresh-faced youngsters.