Earlier in the month, I got carried away by a special the Guthrie theater was offering, and bought tickets not only to the two plays I was interested in–Henry V and Two Gentlemen of Verona–but also to Edward Albee’s A Delicate Balance. This last was a mistake.
A tale of tension and anxiety in WASPy suburbs of the mid-sixties, the play’s slow pace was worsened by two intermissions. The set was beautiful, though, and I especially liked the splatter painting at its center, a hint of the chaos that underlies the delicate balance of the title. The individual performances were uniformly good (though I found Candy Buckley as Claire looked distractingly like my sister Sydney), but were overwhelmed by the overlong play. It so lost its tension by the end that I wondered less about the characters than about why I’d spent time and money to watch them.