Friday, May 13, 2016

Regarding Eugene O'Neill and the Scarcity of Time

Last night I saw Roundabout's revival of Eugene O'Neill's Long Day's Journey Into Night, and boy did it live up to its title. I've made no secret of the fact that I'm not an O'Neill fan, but last night was my breaking point. At around the three hour mark, I assumed (foolishly) we were near the end, and then spent the final hour with my thoughts caroming among various foci of:

  • imagining disaster scenarios,
  • wondering why they were still talking,
  • debating if I could pull off a pixie cut, and
  • resenting everyone in that theater.

So we're done. I'm drawing a line in the sand. Life is too short and O'Neill plays are too long. I've seen his two "greatest classics," both in much-lauded productions, and if I don't love him from those, I never will.

And now for some lighter fare:

In 2012, following a debate with a friend on the merits of this playwright, I penned a little A-B dialogue summing up Every Eugene O'Neill Play. At the time I had only seen one of his plays and read another. Having seen three O'Neill plays this past year, I can say with conviction that my playlet holds up.


Tuesday, May 3, 2016

HamilTony Nominations (and other related contenders)

Lin-Manuel Miranda in Hamilton
As with last year's reaction to the nominations, I will begin with the caveat that I have not yet seen Waitress or Long Day's Journey Into Night (seeing them both next week, never fear). I also didn't see China Doll, but that's only because I really really really didn't want to.

It was a surprise to no one that Hamilton swept the nominations, getting at least one in every eligible category, and now breaking the record for most nominations with a grand total of 16 (I actually hadn't quite expected that - I was hoping Chris Jackson's Washington would get a nod but hadn't expected Jonathan Groff's George III to also get one). With Hamilton expected to also sweep the awards with wins (we'll get to that closer to the big night), the Plays categories may actually be the more heated and divisive come telecast time.

So below are my general thoughts on nominations and those not nominated. Let's go!