We read it in our playreading group. Gussow's book repeatedly comes back to two themes: death -- there is somebody dying or dead in almost every play -- and mother. Stritch , Agnes's sister who lives with them. She easily is embarrassed and uses most of her energies attempting to keep others from saying or doing things that go against her rules. Younger American playwrights, such as Pulitzer Prize-winner Paula Vogel, credit Albee's daring mix of theatricalism and biting dialogue with helping to reinvent the post-war American theatre in the early 1960s. She keeps the affair a secret, almost as if she has a hidden weapon that she protects in case she may have to use it one day. His play A Delicate Balance has often been credited with creating an archetype for American drama with its classic study of the American family, albeit a quite dysfunctional one.
Albee has admitted that the character of Agnes is based on his real-life adopted mother. It is not clear if she is really Agnes's friend or if she and Agnes know one another only because their husbands are friends. He has, after all, allowed his sister-in-law to live off him. I felt too removed witnessing this not-subtle critique of suburbia. But underneath, together with the undertone of desperation, we could laugh at some of the things these people do. She is also the mother of Julia and the sister of Claire. Even John Lee Beatty's handsome, cavernous set astonishes.
You know it's going on up on the hill; you can see the dust, and hear the cries, and the steel. But then again, it is Edna, in the end, who realizes that there are boundaries, even between friends. When Julia arrives home, Claire greets her more honestly, more warmly than do Julia's parents. That delicate balance is something we all try to manage subconsciously; keeping us just a few blocks away from the dark side. And there is nobody better at believing in Albee than Albee himself, according to a riveting biography of the playwright by Mel Gussow. Agnes and Tobias need to come to terms with crisis and Tobias must ask what he owes his friends and what debt he has to their friendship. As his characters try to figure out what to do about the Harry and Edna, they have a series of discussions or debates that slowly rise in emotional temperature.
She avers that she is not an alcoholic, simply a drunk. Agnes and Tobias are a married couple in their late 50s. Julia also embarrasses her mother. Otherwise, Journey remains the singular Americ Alluding to it's timelessness Albee is said to have changed only 2 lines before the 1996 revival. The cast included Julia , Edna , Ian McElhinney Harry , Tobias , Claire , and Agnes.
The play is charged with malice and characters on the verge of nervous breakdowns. He did not say hello up to the very end of his stay and got an iPhone in the process, from my wife with whom I am no longer on speaking terms because of that, and more. You were not named for nothing. After the death of the child, Tobias and Agnes no longer attempted to have more children. They have reached a point in their lives where they have lived more in the past than remains to them in the future.
His works are considered well-crafted and often unsympathetic examinations of the modern condition. Agnes comes down from her room. Albee's adoptive parents and Frances' sister Jane. He allows his 30-something daughter to continually move in and out of his house, and he tolerates his wife. Its characters maintain a delicate balance between self-destruction and survival when a bitter 36-year-old daughter returns home to the family nest after the collapse of her fourth marriage.
The play unfolds over a three-day period where they trade barbs with each other about their dysfunctional lives, and the stifled existences each of them have been living. The writing is so very many-splendoured; some of the lines Katharine Hepburn has the best ones sound like Shakespeare and Albee even makes a self-referential joke about that after one of Claire's declarations. David Edwards plays Tobias, Agnes' husband with subtlety. Agnes reenters, announcing that Julia is coming home. It is not clear if she does this out of love or out of spite.
He goes with Harry to get their suitcases and put them back in their car. The story involves an upper middle class, dysfunctional family that begins to crumble as the weight of alcoholism, divorce, age, and fear becomes too much for their already shaky home to stand. Most obvious is the loss of balance that has been precariously maintained by Agnes, the main character in the play and mistress of the house in which the play takes place. They welcome Edna and Harry who, from the moment of their appearance, begin to act as if they belonged there. By the end of the second act, though, the plot's become tedious, the dialogue repetitive, the characters dull. Although Edna may not be able to name the fear that has driven her out of her own house, she appears to be quite capable of naming the things that other people are doing wrong in their lives. There are life-and-death games being played here.