Don't Be Afraid

You shouldn't be, even if Edward Albee's 45-year-old masterpiece of marital discord does go on well past the three-hour mark. WaterTower Theatre puts on a finely calibrated production directed by René Moreno. Lead actor James Crawford is an SMU drama prof by day, so he's deliciously authentic as George, a jaded New England college history teacher married to the college president's daughter. She's Martha (played by Kristina Baker), a frazzled harridan in her 50s, still clinging to what's left of her sex appeal. These two hold a scary after-party in their living room after meeting newly-hired biology prof Nick (Ashley Wood) and his young wife Honey (Elise Reynard) at a faculty soiree. The four proceed to drink every drop of liquor in the house, leading to some grabby party games and more than a few verbal battles over whose wife is the bigger nightmare. The production does have its flaws. Costumer Michael Robinson puts the cast in ill-fitting clothes that are so distracting they pull focus away from the flow of dialogue. And set designer Michael Sullivan makes the living room scenery—so beautifully realistic for the first two acts—do all sorts of weird, quaky things in the third act. The reason to buy a ticket lies in Albee's timeless script, an epic, cynical and often hilarious exploration of the big lie behind the American Ideal of home, hearth and children. Through June 17 at WaterTower Theatre, 15650 Addison Rd., Addison. 972-450-6232.
Wednesdays, Thursdays, 7:30 p.m.; Fridays, Saturdays, 8 p.m.; Sundays, 2 p.m. Starts: May 24. Continues through June 17


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