EXCERPTS FROM THE REVIEW
Below are excerpts from the February 8, 2018 MD Theatre Guide review of Long Day's Journey Into Night.
Eugene O’Neill’s classic, the Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award-winning “Long’s Day’s Journey into Night,” is currently being presented by Everyman Theatre. The play is set over a period of one day in 1912 at the Connecticut summer home of the Tyrones. Published posthumously, it is an emotionally draining and poignant autobiographical portrait of an Irish-American family caught in a cycle of addiction, recrimination and lost dreams while simultaneously clinging and clawing at each other. The saddest truth is that their love runs deep.
“Everyman has, again, created a beautifully-realized production.”
Director Donald Hicken describes the play as “the holy grail” for actors. The characters are complex and nuanced, with so many emotional layers and extremes that turn on a dime. Hicken has assembled a formidable cast that is more than up to the task. He does a brilliant job of directing them in this production.
One of the finest actors I have ever seen is celebrating her 20th year as a resident company member of Everyman – and one of the reasons Artistic Director Vincent M. Lancisi chose to tackle this monumental play this season. I have never seen Deborah Hazlett give anything but an incredible performance and this is no exception. She is a force of nature as Mary, the morphine-addicted mother of Jamie and Edmund and wife of a once-successful actor, James Tyrone. A quiet storm of passion and frustration, Hazlett conveys all of this with nuance and grace.
In his Everyman debut, Kurt Rhoads as James Tyrone, does a fine job as the stingy patriarch of the family. Shakespeare is his favorite writer and of course, insists the Bard was Irish. Once a promising young actor, the memory of his poor, immigrant roots turned him into a miser. He never stretched his potential. Instead, he bought into performing one role for years because it was easy money. These days, it’s questionable real estate deals. James is disappointed in his sons because they haven’t lived up to his expectations and fights with them constantly.
This stellar cast is supported by the beautiful and detailed work of the creative team. Set designer Daniel Ettinger, lighting designer Jay Herzog and costume designer David Burdick weave their magic into this production. Original music was provided by Patrick Calhoun.
Though this is one day in their lives, you can’t help but feel this is an endless cycle for the Tyrone family. Your heart aches for them. This play is a commitment for the theater-goer but well worth it. Everyman has, again, created a beautifully-realized production.