Stories dont always start at the beginning. It turns out Edward Albees The Zoo Story started somewhere in the middle. Albees At Home at the Zoo, a prequel to the play, takes us back to the start, before showing us The Zoo Story again.
A Zoo Story, you remember, follows Peter and Jerry, two men who have a fateful meeting while sharing a park bench in Central Park. At Home at the Zoo shows us how Peter gets to that park bench. In At Home, Peter and his wife Ann are having a fateful meeting of their own. When their explosive exchange pushes Peter out the door, he heads for the park, and A Zoo Story is set in motion. Like much of Albees work, At Home is intense and provocative.
Now past 80, Albee has been called Americas greatest living playwright. His shelf of Pulitzers tends to buoy that idea. Well, that and the fact that he wrote Whos Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, Breakfast at Tiffanys and Three Tall Women, of course. Albee will be in attendance at the February 21 performance. Albee has a special relationship with Houston (at least we like to think so). He taught playwriting at the University of Houston for 14 years and had a productive association with the Alley Theatre, where he directed several of his plays.
Go back to the beginning in At Home at the Zoo at 8 p.m. on February 13 and 14, and February 18 through 21, and at 2 p.m. on February 15 and 22. Quintero Theatre, University of Houston. For information, call 713-743-2929 or visit www.theatre.uh.edu. $10 to $20.