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  • Cocktails with George and Martha

  • Movies, Marriage, and the Making of Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?
  • By: Philip Gefter
  • Narrated by: Alexa Morden
  • Length: 11 hrs and 29 mins

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Cocktails with George and Martha

By: Philip Gefter
Narrated by: Alexa Morden
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Publisher's Summary

An award-winning writer reveals the behind-the-scenes story of the provocative play, the groundbreaking film it became, and how two iconic stars changed the image of marriage forever.

From its debut in 1962, Edward Albee’s Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? was a wild success and a cultural lightning rod. The play transpires over one long, boozy night, laying bare the lies, compromises, and scalding love that have sustained a middle-aged couple through decades of marriage. It scandalized critics but magnetized audiences. Across 644 sold-out Broadway performances, the drama demolished the wall between what could and couldn’t be said on the American stage and marked a definitive end to the I Love Lucy 1950s.

Then, Hollywood took a colossal gamble on Albee’s sophisticated play—and won. Costarring Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton, the sensational 1966 film minted first-time director Mike Nichols as industry royalty and won five Oscars. How this scorching play became a movie classic—surviving censorship attempts, its creators’ inexperience, and its stars’ own tumultuous marriage—is one of the most riveting stories in all of cinema.

Now, acclaimed author Philip Gefter tells that story in full for the first time, tracing Woolf from its hushed origins in Greenwich Village’s bohemian enclave, through its tormented production process, to its explosion onto screens across America and a permanent place in the canon of cinematic marriages. This deliciously entertaining book explores how two couples—one fictional, one all too real—forced a nation to confront its most deeply held myths about relationships, sex, family, and, against all odds, love.

©2024 Philip Gefter (P)2024 Bloomsbury Publishing Plc

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