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'A Delicate Balance' a play written over 30 years ago still shines bright

'A Delicate Balance' Edward Albee's Pulitizer Prize winning play
'A Delicate Balance' Edward Albee's Pulitizer Prize winning play
Peter Simpson Cook

'A Delicate Balance' Edward Albee's Pulitzer Prize winning play


By Joan Alperin Schwartz

Every time I sit in a theatre, right before the lights dim, I always wonder the same thing...Will the play I'm about to see be entertaining or at least interesting and will the actors up on the stage, really live inside the skin of their characters?

I can happily report that all the above is true, with this new production of Edward Albee's Pulitzer Prize winning play, 'A Delicate Balance' and that's thanks to its wonderful cast.

I've seen many different productions of this play over the years. It's one of my favorite Albee plays and even though he wrote it in 1966, it still holds up. The theme of 'A Delicate Balance' is as relevant today as it was then.

'A Delicate Balance' is about the choices we make in our life and what happens, when we have to live with these choices, because we have no other options.

Agnes (Susan Sullivan) and Tobias (David Selby) share an upper middle class suburban home. Their only daughter, Julia (Deborah Puette) has long since left home and at present is working on her fourth marriage.

Agnes' alcoholic and 'tell it like it is' sister, Claire (O-Lan Jones) share the couple's home. She is their permanent house-guest.

But Claire isn't the only one who drinks. Alcohol is practically another character in this play. Everyone, including control-freak, Agnes and seemingly easy going, Tobias, drinks...And when they're not drinking, they are talking about...drinking.

After all, what better way to dull the senses, then with a cocktail or two or three...It's their way of maintaining the household's precarious equilibrium.

And, we soon find out just how precarious that equilibrium is, with the appearance of the couple's life long friends, Harry (Mark Costello) and Edna (Lily Knight) who are seeking refuge from an unnamed terror.

Seems that Harry and Edna are so terrified, that they decided to move in with Agnes and Tobias. Nothing like a pair of good friends to make you feel safe.

After spending the night, Harry and Edna return the next day with their bags and move into Julia's room.

Unfortunately, this is the same day, that, Julia decides to return to the nest. Seems she still hasn't find marital bliss and has decided to divorce hubby number four.

'A Delicate Balance' is a play that explores the human condition. It's funny, but at times, unsettling...Albee lets us know that at the end of the day, we are alone.

Robin Larsen did an excellent job of directing this excellent cast. If you are a theatre lover, 'A Delicate Balance' is a must-see...And even if you're not, go see it anyway...You might just become one.

'A Delicate Balance' opened April 26, 2014 at the Odyssey Theatre, 2055 Sepulveda Blvd, LA 90025, and runs thru Sunday June 15th.


Wednesdays at 8 pm, May 21 and June 4

Thursdays at 8 p.m., May 15, 29, June 12

Fridays at 8 p.m., May 16, 23, 30, June 6 and 13

Saturdays at 8 p.m. May 17, 24, 31, June 7, 14

Sundays at 2 p.m. May 18, 25, June 1, 8, 15

TICKET PRICES: All seats $30.00. Pay-What-You-Can (minimum $10) Wednesday, May 21

Please call 310-477-2055 ext 2 or go to to make your reservation

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