Monday, August 23, 2010

Long Day's Journey Into Night - Artists Repertory Theatre (Grade C)

Director: Andrew Upton
Venue Newmark Theate
James Tyrone   .....   William Hurt
Mary Tyrone   .....   Robyn Nevin
James Tyrone, Jr.   .....   Todd Van Voris
Edmond Tyrone   .....   Luke Mullins
Cathleen   .....   Emily Russell

sez says: Robyn Nevins is extraordinary--and even with the faults this production has, and it has faults, it is worth seeing if only to watch Nevins fully inhabit, pitch-perfect, the character of Mary Tyrone.  I sit here still awe-struck by her performance.  She is a great gift.
And, of course this is a great play. The story is well enough known: Dysfunctional family--mom is a morphine addict; dad is a miser; older son is a drunk; younger son has consumption.  Each has reasons for being the way they are and those reasons are reveled -- and they all even know their shortcomings --but none seem to break the pattens that beleaguer them--as individuals, as a family.  Yet they do care deeply for each other--while they abuse each other.
BUT THERE WAS A BIG PROBLEM: The dialogue was at times hard to hear. I wondered if it was the acoustics, then I wondered if it was my ears, than I realized I could hear Nevins fine, all the time. It was Mullins that was hardest to hear: I probably lost at least a quarter, or more, of his lines. And it was Hurt too -- he slurred his lines at times -- possibly trying to push the dialogue to quicker pace, or to portray himself as a drunk -- but regardless of the cause,  words were getting lost. Losing words in the theater is not ok..esp so in a play like this one. 
I was greatly looking forward to seeing this. Maybe my expectations were too high, but I did expect something better than was delivered.

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