'Drunken With What' launches Target Margin Theater's two-season exploration of Eugene O'Neill. More…
Who was Eugene O'Neill? Genius, blowhard, giant of the imagination, ham-fisted avatar of pseudo-psychology, geographer of the human spirit; was he drunk on art or just drunk? The great American playwright Eugene O’Neill rewrote Greek tragedy, refurbished American melodrama, and reinvented depth psychology for the stage, but what is truly known about him? Target Margin Theater presents a two-season exploration of Eugene O’Neill with this study of “Mourning Becomes Electra.”
"You can see why the director, David Herskovits, elects to speed things up—this impressionistic hundred-minute “study” leaps among the trilogy’s high points. Even the small-plate version has longueurs, though: for every revelatory choice—multiplying portraits of the doomed family patriarch; a death-haunted score—there’s a sequence that hasn’t found its feet. But in its best moments the piece conjures strange revenants from a still unquiet past." Full Review
"With its abbreviated text and acting that's freighted with postmodernist irony, 'Drunken with What' neither tells the whole Mannon saga nor sounds much like the groundbreaking work for which O'Neill is noted…Despite the efforts of such game performers, 'Drunken with What' fails to provide a sense of the cumulative power of O'Neill's magnum opus or the complexity of the Mannons...'Drunken with What' is a worthwhile stab at blowing the dust off a classic." Full Review
"This approach highlights the variability within the play itself and sometimes speaks to its internal tensions. But the intellectual playfulness pretty well negates the sense of drama, much less tragedy. The play only makes sense if inexorable passions, conscious and unconscious, drive these characters. Target Margin’s cooler method renders much of the action merely silly, a risk even in straightforward productions." Full Review
See it if You love all things Herskovits, or O'Neill, and can live on snippets till the full production next year.
Don't see it if Teasing hints and postmodern gesture and technique are not enough for you. This has little blood pulsing through it.
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