If you’re a theater lover and have never seen Edward Albee’s famous play about a couple’s turbulent relationship—or even if you have—don’t miss Steppenwolf’s current production.
At 3 hours, with two 15-minute intermissions, this play is theater for serious theatergoers, but the fighting between the main couple, George and Martha—often funny and sometimes violent—keeps the energy up. Their relationship unfolds over the course of one drunken night, as they entertain a young professor and his wife.
Steppenwolf ensemble member Tracy Letts flawlessly portrays the boiling volcano that is George, a failed history professor at a small New England college. (Letts also happens to be the Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award winning author of the 2008 play “August: Osage County”). George is under almost-constant fire from Martha, who is the daughter of the college president and never ceases to point out her husband’s shortcomings. Martha is played by ensemble member Amy Morton, who starred in “August: Osage County” at Steppenwolf, and on and off Broadway.
In the end, George and Martha betray each other in an unexpected way. If you’ve never seen the play, you’ll likely leave the theater still trying to tease out its meaning. And that’s exactly what Albee wants, according to an interview with Steppenwolf: “I want [audience members] to be willing to reconsider whether all the values that they brought into the theater are still valid when they leave.”
Runs through Feb. 13. For tickets, call 312-335-1650 or visit steppenwolf.org. For dinner before the show, we recommend the nearby restaurant Sprout.