Sunday, March 20, 2005

Who's Afraid of Kathleen Turner?

I went to go see (gasp) the premiere of the new revivial of "Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?" starring Kathleen Turner and Bill Irwin. After some reflection, I realized it was amazing.

I had to reflect a little since I know the play and movie fairly well and since Kathleen Turner is such a character unto herself, it was difficult at first to get a handle on how I felt about the production. However, what was most captivating about this version is that Martha and George's dilemma (more like ritualized armageddon) is humanized and deflowered of its monsterdom. I really had a deep sense of why these two damaged drunkards carry on what they do and - more importantly - how much they need and understand each other.

The big third act revelation in this version is honest and felt - when it hits in the movie, for example, it just feels shameful and grandstandy.

I have been partially obsessed with Kathleen Turner ever since I saw "Body Heat" at way way way too young of an age on HBO. Maybe it was that big, bad manly voice of hers, or the fact that she was ever the femme fatale and completely got away with it, or the fact that she spends the movie in espadrilles, tight skirts and no bra, or the fact that she introduced me to fellatio - any which way you cut it, I've been hooked since '81.

I also read this recently - exactly the kind of actress-on-actress bitchery I love:

Eileen Atkins once called her "an amazing nightmare".

Atta girl.

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