The Goat or, Who
is Sylvia? at the Mark Taper Forum
By Paula Jessop
Photos by: Craig Schwartz
has it all. He's a world-class architect with a loving wife
and a comfortable relationship with his gay teenage son.
He's just landed a lucrative contract and is about to receive
a prestigious international prize. But when Martin confides
to his best friend a secret that could destroy him, his
marital bliss takes a sharp turn, threatening his family
and career. A darkly funny, passionate play about the limits
of compassion, understanding and tolerance, and the nature
of love itself.
Albee's most provocative and controversial play since "Who's
Afraid of Virginia Woolf?". " The Goat" won four major
awards including the Tony Award for best new play. A three-time
Pulitzer Prize-winner, Albee's extensive work includes "Three
Tall Women", presented at the Taper in 1996.
Artistic Director of the Center Theatre Group, Gordon Davidson
says of the playwright Edward Albee and "The Goat"
"Albee is an artist of disruptive and thrilling originality
His play "The Goat" powerfully demonstrates, time has neither
mellowed Albee nor dimmed his genius. The play explores
some perennial Albee subjects: marriage, the substance of
relationship, the fragility of our assumptions and certainties
about ourselves and others. But, as is so often the case
with this commanding master, the approach is joltingly original:a
fascinating combination of provocation, playfulness, and
a piercing empathy for human vulnerability - and yes, it
helps redefine the nature of tragedy in the modern era."
walking into the Mark Taper Forum's theatre is in itself
exciting. The display cases filled with theatrical awards
including several Tony's are a dead give away that you are
in for an evening of real theatre. Not a watered down version
of someone's idea of safe public entertainment. But a place
where risks are taken and new ideas are conceived. Their
current production of "The Goat" is a living testament to
begin with the sets and lighting are beautiful. The entire
play takes place in a living room, which looks like it was
lifted out of the pages of Architectural Digest. The costumes
are deceptively simple yet it is apparent that a great deal
of energy and effort went into their design to help support
and tell the story of the play. And the props were unbelievably
elegant for their use.
Shook the director deftly took material, which in lesser
hands could be viewed as not only shocking and disturbing
but simply unpalatable. Instead making it shocking,
disturbing, humorous and very shatteringly human. Skillfully
capturing each note and nuance the writer had embedded into
of the actors was incredible in the playing of their roles.
Patrick J. Adams who plays the role of the teenage son Billy,
began his career at the Taper as an intern and is making
his professional debut. Adams played his part with a shattering
Eckhouse gave a strong scrupulously, meticulous performance
as Ross a long time friend of the family.
Kerwin as Martin was endearing, devastating, heartbreaking,
and absolutely everything the part called for.
Mace as Stevie. No, simply put, she was Stevie. Brilliantly
playing the love and anguish of her character. Mace raises
the bar on the standard of what can be called great acting.
you want to see what real acting is these folks hit not
only a home run but they hit it out of the ball park.
"The Goat" is definitely a definite must see. This production
belongs on Broadway.