Two-time Emmy and Golden Globe nominee Susan Sullivan and David Selby head the cast when Robin Larsen directs “A Delicate Balance” by Edward Albee currently on stage at the Odyssey Theatre.
A caustically funny and moving exploration of the bonds of friendship and family in a threatening world, “A Delicate Balance” is considered by many to be Edward Albee’s most challenging work. The first of his three Pulitzer Prize–winning plays, it is stylish, daring and profoundly touching — full of memorable Albee bits, bountiful bursts of colorful invective and lacerating repartee.
Empty nesters Agnes (Sullivan) and Tobias (Selby) share their upper middle class suburban home with their permanent houseguest – Agnes’ tartly entertaining and perpetually soused sister, Claire (O-Lan Jones). The household’s precarious equilibrium is disrupted one evening by the appearance of lifelong family friends Harry (Mark Costello) and Edna (Lily Knight), who are seeking refuge from an unnamed terror. When daughter Julia (Deborah Puette) returns home in the throes of the breakup of her fourth marriage, she finds her room occupied by Harry and Edna, who refuse to leave.
“Albee is concerned with the human condition,” says Larsen. “That existential dread that we all deal with on a daily basis. Human relationships are so tenuous, even those with our closest family and friends — at the end of the day, we are alone. ‘A Delicate Balance’ explores the unsettling side of what it means to be human.”
Performances of “A Delicate Balance” take place on Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m. and Sundays at 2 p.m., through June 15. Additional weeknight performances are scheduled on Wednesdays at 8 p.m. on May 21 and June 4; and on Thursdays at 8 p.m. on May 8, May 15, May 29; and June 12. Tickets are $30. There will be two pay-what-you-can (minimum $10) performances on Thursday, May 8 and Wednesday, May 21. The third Friday of every month is wine night at the Odyssey: enjoy complimentary wine and snacks and mingle with the cast after the show. Call (310) 477-2055 or go to www.OdysseyTheatre.com.
The Odyssey Theatre is located at 2055 S.Sepulveda Blvd., West Los Angeles.