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re: 1960: Looking for The Young Man for Albee’s “The American Dream”
Posted by: Scottofscott 09:20 am EDT 07/01/22
In reply to: 1960: Looking for The Young Man for Albee’s “The American Dream” - kieran 01:15 am EDT 07/01/22

Glad to see a mention of my family friend Ben Piazza as the one who ultimately played the American Dream. He and Albee worked together for a decade. In the first read-through of WHO'S AFRAID OF VIRGINIA WOOLF?, Ben read the part of Nick (then called Dear), and the other three parts were read by Albee, and producers Barr and Wilder. (I think Albee read Martha, but I cannot remember for sure.). After Grizzard left the Broadway production of Woolf a few months after the opening, Ben took over the part of Nick and played it the remainder of the Broadway run.

No word as to why Albee changed the character's name from Dear to Nick. The name Nick is never said in the play. And apparently Honey is a term of affection, not her name.

Incidentally, Grizzard left to go play Hamlet in the first season of the Guthrie Theatre. Neither he nor anyone in the cast had expected WOOLF to run long, so he had accepted the invitation to play the Dane in the spring 1963 production and assumed he probably would have a gap between productions. The consensus within the WOOLF company was that the show was too daring for Broadway audiences.
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