Theatre-folk reminisce about “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?” My fave, naturally, comes from Elaine Stritch, who played Martha:
“I had just done ‘Sail Away’ in London, and I was sticking around for a bit. All they had to do was ask me, and I took the boat over without even reading it. I came, and I opened in eight days. I learned it so quickly that I didn’t even know what I was talking about half the time. I mean, I knew, but I didn’t know that I knew…. I used to have my stage manager report back to me what people said in the theater as they left. One day, a typical Greenwich, Conn., woman — very hoity-toity, very hot potato, you know? — looked at her husband afterward and said, ‘Frederick, married people simply do not speak to each other that way, don’t you think?’ And he looked at her and said, ‘Ethel, for Christ’s sake, shut up.’ ”
“Very hoity-toity, very hot potato, you know?” is now part of my lexicon.