Monday, January 21, 2008

Edward Albee's 'Peter and Jerry.''

2nd\NE Quadrant The Year-End Mega Matrix

Edward Albee's, ''The Zoo Story,'' is about an encounter between two distinctly different men, Peter and Jerry, who meet in Central Park one afternoon. First staged in 1959, ''The Zoo Story'' catapulted Albee to the top of American theater. His writing continued to flourish as he wrote ''Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf'' and ''A Delicate Balance,'' and won three Pulitzer Prizes.

Mr. Albee has he felt that Peter needed to be explored in more depth than he had been in ''Zoo Story.'' So he wrote a prequel, ''Homelife,'' which together with ''Zoo Story'' make up ''Peter and Jerry.''
-- The New York Times

''Peter and Jerry'' was at Hartford Stage, 50 Church Street in Hartford, through June 20, 2007.

When news came out that Albee, almost 50 years after that historic debut, had created a related curtain-raiser to "Zoo Story," there was trepidation. Would the new piece, "Homelife," spoil the menace and mystery of his original characters? Might a play about Peter and his wife before he walks to the park make him too specific and, perish the thought, domesticate his motivations?

In reality, the updated double bill that kicked off Albee's unofficial 80th-birthday season last night at Second Stage Theatre, is a thoroughly satisfying package of jagged-edged provocation. In a program note, he says, "deep down," he must have always conceived this as an entire play. I dare you not to believe him.
-- News Day

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