One thing I had forgotten about the play is George's humanist attack on biologist Nick and the new race of superhuman blond, blue-eyed athletes he and his colleagues are going to produce via their test tubes. Pretty prescient stuff for 1962, and remarkably current in terms of our own bio-engineered and biopolitical age. Of course, Albee's play can--and I think should--be read as a complete attack on heteronormativity, with George's murder of his and Martha's non-existent son the more humane, and arguably resistant, solution to the sort of mass extermination that the Nicks of this world will soon perfect. As Martha notes at the end of the play, we should all be afraid, very very afraid.
Unfortunately, an otherwise very enjoyable night at the theatre was marred somewhat by some unnecessary annoyances. Diana and I had arrived early, hoping to have a drink and some nibbles at the just-opened wine bar and cafe. This we proceeded to do, but not before asking if we could pick up our tickets first. No, we were told, the box office wasn't open yet (at least not officially); we would have to come back at 6:30 pm, and line up outside in the rain with everyone else. Why? And why have only one ticket booth open on a night like last night, with the line snaking up to Victoria, and heaps of Cultch staff wandering around inside with seemingly nothing to do? Then, too, the kitchen staff might want to get a few more items on their menu. The charcuterie offerings are relatively slim, with two of the listed items last night selling out after we had ordered--and we were the first customers!
But none of this matched our collective dismay at finding ourselves seated behind a woman who, throughout the performance, laughed and snorted in a cacophonous combination of Martha and Honey's grating tones, mostly at the most inappropriate and emotionally intense moments.
But don't let any of this stop you from hurrying to catch the remaining four performances of this excellent show (it closes Sunday evening). Blackbird, like many arts groups in the province, is in dire straits right now, and as a theatre company devoted to producing works from the classic repertory to the highest professional standards, it deserves our full support.