Next year, Jessica Lange on Broadway in Long Day’s Journey into Night

Paul Nicholls, Jessica Lange, and Paul Rudd as Edmund, Mary, and James (Jr.) Tyrone in the 2000 London production of Long Day's Journey into Night. Photo: Rune Hellestad/Sygma/Corbis.
Paul Nicholls, Jessica Lange, and Paul Rudd as Edmund, Mary, and James (Jr.) Tyrone in the 2000 London production of Long Day’s Journey into Night. Photo: Rune Hellestad/Sygma/Corbis.

When the Roundabout Theatre Company’s revival of Eugene O’Neill’s Long Day’s Journey into Night to star Jessica Lange and Gabriel Byrne was announced earlier this week, the news was greeted with odd reaction from some critics. On Twitter, one mainstream critic sarcastically wrote, with a near-audible sigh, “‘Long Day’s Journey Into Night’ back on B’way in 2016. Good to see producers think outside the box and fish out obscure plays we never see,” while TimeOut New York saw fit to pointlessly dredge up some decade-old meanspirited gossip about the actress. Well, the play opens at the Roundabout next March (the Roundabout will also revive Harold Pinter’s Old Times next season).

Lange wrote the introduction to the critical edition of Long Day’s Journey into Night, published by Yale University Press last year and edited by William Davies King. For those who want to do a little homework before the revival opens, the edition is available from Amazon here, and when it was published I exchanged a few emails with King about the play and this new edition. That interview follows after the jump. Continue reading Next year, Jessica Lange on Broadway in Long Day’s Journey into Night

Anton Chekhov on what makes writing a work of art

[Chekhov] once said that “when I write, I rely fully on the reader, on the assumption that he himself will add the subjective elements that are lacking in the story,” which strikes a very “modern” note. Another time he said that “I can write only by thinking back; I have never written straight from nature. I need to let a subject strain through my memory until only what is important or typical remains as on a filter.” At an early stage of his career, in 1886, he told his brother Alexander what would be necessary for something Alexander was writing to be a work of art: “(1) no politico-economico-social verbal effusions; (2) objectivity throughout; (3) truth in the description of characters and things; (4) extreme brevity; (5) audacity and originality — eschew clichés; (6) warmheartedness.” Yes, he said “warmheartedness.”

Richard Gilman
Chekhov’s Plays: An Opening into Eternity (20)
New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 1995

Howard Barker: Scenes from an Execution

In the wake of the National Theatre’s successful revival of the play in 2012, Potomac Theatre Project will bring its production of Howard Barker’s Scenes from an Execution with Jan Maxwell back to New York this summer. It runs from July 7 through August 9 at the Atlantic Stage 2, in repertory with Barker’s Judith and Caryl Churchill’s Vinegar Tom; more information and tickets available here.

It’s also on the list of TimeOut New York‘s “The 20 best plays and Broadway musicals this summer.” I reviewed this production upon its first visit to New York in 2008; that review follows after the jump. Continue reading Howard Barker: Scenes from an Execution

Richard Foreman: Ontological-Hysteric Manifesto I

Today Richard Foreman Filmmaker, an all-day event at the Martin E. Segal Theatre Center, will present just about all of Foreman’s work for video and film from 1975’s Out of the Body Travel to 2012’s Once Every Day. This evening at 6.30pm the day will conclude with a screening of Elliot Caplan’s documentary on the making of Once Every Day, MY NAME IS RAINER THOMPSON AND I’VE LOST IT COMPLETELY, and a conversation with Foreman and Dr. Frank Hentschker — and, like all of the Segal Center’s events, it’s free. Foreman himself curated the retrospective in collaboration with Graduate Center CUNY Ph.D. Student in Theatre Eylul Fidan Akinci (Turkey) and Hentschker. I hope to see you there tonight.

In anticipation of this event, I’ve been posting a few old writings about Richard’s early work; after the jump you’ll find my last entry in the series, a look at the first Ontological-Hysteric Manifesto, written in 1972. Continue reading Richard Foreman: Ontological-Hysteric Manifesto I

Richard Foreman: Pain(t)

This coming Monday, May 18, Richard Foreman Filmmaker, an all-day event at the Martin E. Segal Theatre Center, will present just about all of Foreman’s work for video and film from 1975’s Out of the Body Travel to 2012’s Once Every Day. The day of screenings will be followed at 6.30pm by a screening of Elliot Caplan’s documentary on the making of Once Every Day, MY NAME IS RAINER THOMPSON AND I’VE LOST IT COMPLETELY, and a conversation with Foreman and Dr. Frank Hentschker — and, like all of the Segal Center’s events, it’s free. Foreman himself curated the retrospective in collaboration with Graduate Center CUNY Ph.D. Student in Theatre Eylul Fidan Akinci (Turkey) and Hentschker. I hope to see you there.

Over the past week in anticipation of this event, I’ve been posting a few old writings about Richard’s early work. My notes on his 1974 play Pain(t) follow the jump. Continue reading Richard Foreman: Pain(t)