Closed 1h 15m
Everyone's Fine with Virginia Woolf
Lower E Side
70

Everyone's Fine with Virginia Woolf NYC Reviews and Tickets

70%
(57 Reviews)
Positive
63%
Mixed
32%
Negative
5%
Members say
Quirky, Clever, Funny, Entertaining, Indulgent

About the Show

Elevator Repair Service presents a sharp-witted parody of Edward Albee’s classic drama 'Who's Afraid of Virgina Woolf?", both as a loving homage and fierce feminist take-down. 

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Member Reviews (57)

77
Dizzying, Edgy, Intelligent, Ambitious, Clever

See it if Scelsa's corrosive, funny & highly po-mo send-up of Albee's ...Virginia Woolf w/ bullying feminist Martha "woman-splaining" with a vengence

Don't see it if Author looses narrative thread in last 15 min w/George (ERS vet Vin Knight - brilliant) morphing into a drag Judy Garland singing love songs

75
Funny, Clever, Resonant, Quirky, Cliched

See it if you know the play Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf. It is a lot funnier if you realize what has been changed for this production.

Don't see it if you are unwilling to skim the original play or at least the Cliff notes.

Critic Reviews (26)

June 12th, 2018

“A take-no-prisoners approach to satire...Theatergoers acquainted with Albee’s play will savor this production’s dizzy echo chamber of words and visuals...Those unacquainted with the play’s literary arcana can sit back and watch the cast riff jazzily on Scelsa’s punch-drunk dialogue...If 'Everyone’s Fine' is partly a rebuke to what male playwrights do to their female characters, it also bubbles with a love of theater at its most brazenly theatrical that Albee would surely recognize."
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June 12th, 2018

"Less a deconstruction than a demolition derby...For roughly the first quarter of its 70-minute running time, the play is very funny...Scelsa’s writing is witty, the adept actors deliver amusing cartoons, and Collins’s staging features clever metatheatrical sight and sound gags. But zany parodic energy is hard to sustain, and 'Everyone’s Fine with Virginia Woolf' slips into repetition...The play is provocative, but where does all this send-up and takedown leave us?”
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June 12th, 2018

“The gags come flying fast and furious but few of them land...Barely sustains its comic energy through its brief running time. Despite impressively committed performances from the ensemble, the piece ultimately feels like a Carol Burnett sketch with intellectual pretensions...The comic riffs seem random...There's no faulting the ensemble...But their efforts go for naught in this ill-conceived twist on a classic that already cleverly comments on itself.”
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June 12th, 2018

“A mass deposit of theatrical allusions and styles, postmodern textual strategies and pop trivia...Scelsa’s script is a glitter bomb of meta spoofery and nested references...As ‘Everyone’s Fine’ spins into a second and third act, it grows increasingly fragmented and weird...John Collins’ springy, athletic staging lands each hyper-literate joke while not stinting on the sight gags...Scelsa shows you can love Edward Albee, while giving him a good hard spank over your knee."
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June 12th, 2018

“Scelsa's witty, trenchant parody of Albee's play packs a thesis-worth of critique on the way men perceive and portray skewed images of women through the distorted lens of the American patriarchy...At its best when it's riffing on Albee's work, rather than concocting its own scenes...The humor tends to subside in those moments, but otherwise, director John Collins does a terrific job of creating a parodic Albee universe.”
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June 13th, 2018

“It's not just the general absence of wit, although the parade of sophomoric semi-jokes makes for some notably heavy going. Collins' production relies on crude bits of staging...Any five minutes of Albee's play are funnier than the totality of ‘Everyone's Fine With Virginia Woolf’...Substandard performances...Has but one point to make, which it does with thudding repetition...Plays like a SNL sketch that has unaccountably been allowed to fill the entire time slot.”
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June 12th, 2018

“Were Albee alive today, he likely wouldn’t be so fine with this send-up of his play. Rightly so…What Scelsa has in mind to do with her 75-minute insult is fairly clear. While declaring in a program note that she greatly admires the work—with admirers like these, Albee doesn’t need detractors—she does quarrel with some of its elements… Whatever Scelsa is doing, it isn’t humorous. This is true of all the loudmouth carryings-on that director John Collins does nothing to discourage.”
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June 12th, 2018

“An incoherent, amateurish, arguably homophobic slog…By the middle of this play little is making sense…Scelca’s preferred device for critiquing Albee, in this proudly feminist reclaiming, is to critique him for being a gay man writing about women by caricaturing other gay men writing about women…Sex-obsessed sophomoric romp through literary allusions, providing occasional entertainment but no insight.”
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June 12th, 2018

“The promise of a wry send-up very quickly descends into pretentious pointlessness…A numbing and unfunny 70 minutes…Made for a campy late-night diversion at an East Village night club in the early 1980’s but as a full-fledged contemporary theater piece it is woefully negligible…It is difficult to imagine that Albee who was renowned for his prickly protectiveness of his works would not have reacted publicly to this hollow meta exercise that is a complete waste of time.”
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June 12th, 2018

“A hilarious, if perhaps overdone, parody...Scelsa allows the characters to speak the subtext in hilarious ways, transforming Albee’s play from a funny, serious drama to a raucous comedy. The play succeeds most when Scelsa carefully toes the line between parody and homage...Entire cast is excellent at imitating these familiar characters and commenting on their absurdity...Eventually, the play spins out of control and goes out of its way to comment on its source...A good laugh.”
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June 13th, 2018

"A hilarious parody…A wild and wonderful romp that will make your head spin (as well as your belly ache from laughing)…Scelsa’s wild parody is both an affectionate homage as well as a blazing assault on Albee’s classic…Scelsa wrote the play expressly for ERS ensemble members, whose roles fit like kid gloves...Directed with panache by the audacious and adventuresome John Collins, who fuels the production’s boundless energy and unpredictability."
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June 13th, 2018

“In this broad but intelligent comedy, the actors don't have to worry about subtext...These people are nuts and we all know it. In less imaginative hands, this would leave the play with no place to go. But Scelsa broadens the satire by turning it into a treatise on female empowerment...The best audience is probably a group of twenty-something English majors...For others, the play may seem like a very good SNL sketch that goes on a bit too long.”
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June 13th, 2018

"Rapid-fire 75 minute farce complete with sight gags, slamming doors, and slamming drinks. The more you know about the original, the more you’re likely to appreciate this effort. It's an odd homage, as well as a deep dive into gender studies...Proves overly complicated in its attempts to liberate its female protagonist amid a barrage of cultural and literary shout-outs...Still, director John Collins and scenic designer Louisa Thompson supply some visual yuks."
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June 12th, 2018

"One would have to stay on the surface of the text to find misogyny and patriarchy as significant themes of the playwright or his male characters. Apparently, playwright Scelsa has chosen to identify those exact themes in her deconstruction of Albee’s play...Scelsa’s retelling is, at times, funny...See ‘Everyone’s Fine’, if you enjoy riffs of classic American plays and arcane references to those plays. Refrain if you are seeking a thoughtful deconstruction of ‘Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf.'”
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June 12th, 2018

"I have mixed feelings…about the effort, some of which is incomprehensible while some is quite funny, if not as thought-provoking as its creators might have intended…There's really no way to appreciate Scelsa's take on 'Woolf' without close familiarity with its plot and characters…played as steroid-level farce…Whatever sociological points Scelsa wants to make are buried in tons of exaggerated behavior…The actors acquit themselves well at this…pseudo-academic literary silliness."
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June 21st, 2018

“The reason ‘Everyone’s Fine With Virginia Woolf’ is such giddy fun is because everybody in it seems deliriously in love with the project. Longtime-performer-turned-playwright Kate Scelsa clearly adores the Edward Albee classic, quoting it, joshing it, trying to adjust its sexual politics…And in an audience of die-hard ERS obsessives, she’s also her own company’s biggest fan, tailor-fitting each role for its actors.”
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June 16th, 2018

"a vicious and hysterically funny conversation exploring notions of truth and reality and the nature of fiction…The lightness of the interrogation, though, and the messy overlap of arguments and ideas within, largely prevent Ms. Scelsa’s points from taking root in any serious or impactful way…This feels ok and forgivable, though, because of the intelligence of those ideas and arguments, and the ambition of the overarching enterprise—its collective zaniness well-captured by director John Collins."
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June 12th, 2018

“Scelsa’s frenzied satire, directed in the same spirit by Collins himself, features feminism mixed with farce mixed with a literary rollercoaster ride, with the base ingredient of Albee’s chowed-down source material...Even if the play’s own intentions are cloaked in clouds of parody and satire, for its first two acts its humor and serrated edges command our attention and laughter...Then it heads towards a finale - that, to this spectator at least, made little sense."
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June 15th, 2018

"All this antic cleverness becomes slightly dizzying, but Collins’s staging remains consistently hilarious throughout a brisk 75 minutes. And the cast navigates Scelsa’s zany text with deadpan flair, particularly McNamara whose Martha combines the brains of Diane Keaton with the brawn of Glenda Jackson…The famously controlling Albee is probably spinning in his grave. But Collins insists in the programs that there’s a lot of love for him here."
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June 25th, 2018

"A zany mash-up of literary pastiche, pop cultural references, and slapstick, in which Scelsa purloins the four characters of Albee’s ‘Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf’...and unleashes her ferocious narrative imagination…Scelsa’s parodic trip to the underworld may have honest feminist, literary-critical objectives; but ‘Everyone’s Fine,’ funny as it is, does little more than ridicule a few highly mannered leading female characters, fabricated by two gay male literary geniuses.”
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June 14th, 2018

“The opening scenes are terrific, a smart, hysterically funny reinterpretation of Albee’s original...Starts out like a wild and raunchy, NSFW Carol Burnett Show skit, with clever wordplay as the characters explore sexual boundaries, self-oppression, and the lowly human condition...But the play soon devolves into too much self-parody and repetition, going way over the top...A slash-fiction version that is unable to sustain its seventy-five-minute length.”
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June 30th, 2018

"It is the 'Scary Movie' of postwar American theater."
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June 24th, 2018

"A rollicking feminist take down of/tribute to Albee's masterpiece...The show veers from insanely wonderful Tennessee Williams' monologues to a visit to hell with a PhD student. The main section, the parody itself, bursts with zip, sexuality, and fabulous bad jokes. The hell section suffers from a drop-off of energy...I'm not totally sure that all the critical parts of the show are fair to what 'Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf' actually is, but the ERS's version bursts with humor and brilliance."
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June 19th, 2018

"Scelsa...sets out to parody Albee’s work, taking the male playwright to task for his treatment of female characters...There’s rich material here...But Albee’s play is already so sardonically high-strung, crammed full of angry jabs and potent booze and weaponized parasols, that a dramatic response might be more compelling if it veered in the opposite direction — slowing down, taking 'Virginia Woolf' apart for closer examination...An amped-up, stomach-churning take on the original."
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June 12th, 2018

"An abundance of quips, clever remarks, and innumerable references to drama and contemporary culture make for an engaging enough spectacle, especially for college graduates of a certain type; I confess I felt lost at times amidst all the references...John Collins’ sharp, fast-paced direction, and the cast’s energetic performances keep the mood lively, the audience laughing, and the time flying. Yet in the end, the play leaves one unmoved."
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June 12th, 2018

“A raucous re-imagining of Albee’s ‘Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?’...Collins easily balances the Sixties sexual revolution Albee honed in on and the raw recent revelations of predatory behavior in the workplace, academia included. He clearly encouraged the cast to explore every comedic possibility, which works because the source material is all about mayhem...Provides an Epilogue...It’s entirely probable and appropriately messy, just like George and Martha.”
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