In a play full of sharp, memorable dialogue, it’s a two-word line that is actress Valerie Bernstein’s favorite, even though it’s not hers.
“It’s Honey’s line, ‘Violence, violence!’ that I really like,” she said. “The favorite line I get to say is, ‘He can’t stand the shadow of a man flickering around the edges of a house.’ ”
The Poor Richard’s Players are scheduled to perform “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?” for the next three weekends at the Onyx Theatre, 953-16B E. Sahara Ave. Bernstein is one of four actors who have been rehearsing the show for more than a month. The play is witty, funny, but anything but light.
“It’s been really rough on the crew to have to do this every night, but it’s a beautiful piece,” said director Benjamin Loewy. “Poor Richard’s Players have developed a reputation for powerful storytelling, and storytelling doesn’t get anymore powerful than ‘Virginia Woolf.’ ”
Veteran actor Bernstein enjoys the intensity of the show.
“It’s quite the challenge but in a very exciting way,” she said. “At this stage of the game, if it’s not a challenge, I don’t want to do it.”
Bernstein put aside her Los Angeles acting career to raise her two children but returned to the stage in Las Vegas and is considering trying to get back into film.
“I’ve been acting since I was 7. I’m a lot older than that now,” she said with a laugh. “The good thing for me at this point in the game is that a lot of the competition has dropped off.”
She performed in six plays last year, including “The Glass Menagerie” and “Death of a Salesman.”
The Poor Richard’s Players decided to mount its production of “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?” because it hadn’t been performed in the valley recently and the time seemed right.
“It’s a timeless classic,” Loewy said. “George and Martha bring home a younger couple after a party one night. Each has their secrets, and throughout the night, they play a twisted game with each other.”
The couples verbally spar, complications arise and secrets are revealed.
“It’s a very basic premise, with a lot of complicated concepts,” he said. “At its heart, it’s a love story, a dark and twisted love story, but a love story nonetheless.”
Performances are scheduled at 8 p.m. Aug. 14-16, 21, 22 and 23 and 2 p.m. Aug. 17. Tickets are $25. For more information, visit onyxtheatre.com or call 702-732-7225.
Contact East Valley View reporter F. Andrew Taylor at firstname.lastname@example.org or 702-380-4532.