Regional playhouses usually take a brief break for Thanksgiving. But there's at least one thing to be theatrically thankful for as we dash headlong toward Christmas: This is the year programmers at PlayMakers Rep didn't succumb to the "holiday show" syndrome. Instead, they scheduled this tale of a festive get-together that descends into a livid, liquor-soaked fracas in which husbands and wives go at each other with hammer and tongs, dragging all of their families' dirty laundry out before bewildered bystanders.
OK, so maybe Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? isn't all that much different from a lot of our holiday gatherings after all. At least Edward Albee's 49-year-old script helps dispel the long-held misconception that intelligence is the ultimate aphrodisiac. Here, the usual purpose it serves involves identifying the tenderest interpersonal spots for the long knives to go in. Company stalwarts Ray Dooley and Julie Fishell headline as George and Martha, those dysfunctional hosts for the ages. Tonight's opening performance is at 7:30 p.m., as are all subsequent Tuesday–Saturday shows; matinees on Saturday and Sunday are at 2 p.m. —Byron Woods