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Strange Interlude

Members say: Great acting, Ambitious, Masterful, Absorbing, Epic
86
Critics
84
10 reviews
Members
87
36 reviews
 

Transport Group’s radical revival transforms Eugene O’Neill’s Pulitzer Prize-winning, nine-act, five-hour play into a solo piece starring David Greenspan.

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Nina Leeds’ life crumbles when her true love is killed in World War I. She flits from one man to the next until she settles for a life she never wanted, haunted by the fantasy of the happiness she never shared with her late fiance. This saga from 1928 follows the lives of eight characters over half a century. Transport Group’s production incorporates the fragmented identities of all of these characters into a single performer, turning one of O’Neill’s most ambitious works into a unique theatrical event. A dinner catered by The Greene Grape is included with most ticket options.

 


Cast & Creatives (6)


Reviews (46)

See: Critics' Reviews | Members' Reviews
84
Avg Score

85
The New York Times

"Greenspan's performance is such a feat of daring that merely getting through it would have been an accomplishment. Yet he is masterful...This production is storytelling at its purest. At once faithful and irreverent, it’s an illuminating interpretation that is alert to the script’s inadvertent comedy and delighted to mine it...Sound is a stubborn obstacle to this delicately modulated performance...Still, his performance is astonishing in its clarity, nuance, and endurance." Full Review

80
Time Out New York

"Greenspan makes a nearly impossible play work...By pouring all of 'Interlude' through the filter of a single performer, he strains out the largest flaws...The production recovers the delights of melodrama and becomes a play about the complex way our own fluid identities, and others’ perceptions of us, flow together and alchemize...No one should be able to perform solo for six straight hours with such technical precision, but Greenspan is a freight train." Full Review

90
Theatermania

"The theatrical equivalent of an extreme sport, but those willing to brave the butt-busting experience will have bragging rights to what must be one of the most unforgettable acting tours de force in New York's theatrical history...The play's occasionally soap-operatic language is not lost on Greenspan, who treats the material lovingly but knows when to let loose a campy flourish...A masterful production...A unique and remarkable theatrical event." Full Review

80
Lighting & Sound America

“An extra-large helping of melodrama, heavily sauced with Freudian theory...Greenspan doesn't so much play the text as attack it with all the energy and brio at his command...Greenspan's performance is a technical marvel, but it still leaves one faintly baffled at the woman at the center of the action...One of those eccentric theatrical ventures that will prove irresistible to fans of O'Neill as well as anyone curious about a play...Greenspan certainly puts on a show." Full Review

95
TheaterScene.net

“Martha Graham called her dancers ‘athletes of God.’ Watching David Greenspan perform all the roles in a six-hour marathon performance of Eugene O'Neill's 1928 melodrama, ‘Strange Interlude,’ caused me to wonder what I might call David Greenspan. Would ‘Son of Thalia’ (the Greek goddess of theater) do? ‘Olympian of O'Neill’? Forget it! David Greenspan is simply a one-of-a-kind theatrical creature who has molded a very special career.” Full Review

80
CurtainUp

"The things that draw and hold one's attention are Greenspan's facial expressions, which change as though by magic, and his remarkably flexible voice, with its variety of tonal colors...As the performance proceeds, the individual dramatis personae take on impressive intricacy...Greenspan, with his knack for integrating the inner monologues and the rest of the play, may have found the secret for making O'Neill's exercise in Freudian excess palatable to playgoers." Full Review

80
New York Magazine / Vulture

"Is it exhausting? Yes. Is it also utterly hypnotic, intermittently brilliant, and both a proof of O’Neill’s genius and a fascinating framing of his ideological shortcomings? Also, yes. The mad test of endurance that Greenspan has set for himself is no mere gimmick. In fact, it cracks open this unwieldy, expansive, impossible piece in ways that convinced me I never really need to see eight actors performing it." Full Review

90
Exeunt Magazine

“Greenspan’s solo rendition is at once a remarkable feat of human endurance and wonderful theater. Together with director Cummings III, Greenspan has fully realized each of O’Neill’s complex characters and successfully gives them all deep, rich renderings. Enormously long though the show certainly is, the evening proves rapturous...The melodramatic play is overfull of swings, a roller coaster that Greenspan conducts confidently and masterfully.” Full Review

90
Off Off Online

“Who would have imagined that this 1928 whale of a play could be acted as a one-man show to riveting effect? Greenspan is extraordinary, and he brings to life an extraordinary play...Directed with verve and invention by Jack Cummings III, ‘Strange Interlude’ is staged on the spare sets of three performance spaces at the Irondale Theater...Given the length of the evening, this works well...Long as it is, this enthralling production is not to be missed.” Full Review

60
Theater Pizzazz

“There are moments of astonishing work throughout. But they erupt and, no matter how badly you wish them to stay, quickly dissipate back into a repetitious rhythm...It’s frustrating because Mr. Greenspan is such an immensely talented artist...The play is not perfect and neither is the production. At times 'Strange Interlude' is frustrating and even boring. But the flashes of truth from Mr. Greenspan stay with you. It reminds you of theatre’s potential and the capabilities of a dedicated creat... Full Review

See: Critics' Reviews | Members' Reviews
87
Avg Score

96
Great acting, Masterful, Profound

See it if you want to see a remarkable theater experience with a legendary actor. What an accomplishment! O'Neill as you've never seen or heard him.

Don't see it if you can't stand the thought of sitting in a play for almost six hours. Also, this play can seem like a soap opera but here it works

Also If you like once in a lifetime theater experiences I highly recommend ... Read more Read less

92
Ambitious, Epic, Great acting, Masterful, Must see

See it if You love amazing solo performances. David Greenspan is a national treasure.

Don't see it if You don't like Eugene O'Neill, 6 hour plays, or extremely crowded seating. Otherwise, go!!

94
Absorbing, Great acting, Masterful, Great staging, Extraordinary

See it if you want a remarkable theatrical experience unlike anything you have seen. David Greenspan speaks lines as if they are spontaneous comments

Don't see it if you cannot focus on one actor for an hour. The 6 hour performance is broken into hourish long segments. Also lots of audience stair climbing

86
Absorbing, Ambitious, Great acting, Masterful, Entertaining

See it if you want to be impressed with an incredible feat of acting that works to delineate the characters and bring them to life as individuals

Don't see it if your mind is prone to wander over a long stretch of listening - even if the performance is engaging

Also I really enjoyed this production! I was delighted by the laugh out lou... Read more Read less

85
Epic, Masterful, Slow, Dated, Witty

See it if Amazing virtuoso performance. Poetic language full of witty psychological insight. Family drama + Greek tragedy + black comedy. Unique.

Don't see it if Dated elements: Freudian sexuality, gender stereotypes, and a nontraditional family suffering due to its secrets. Clever but not moving.

90
Ambitious, Great acting, Must see, Slow, Dated

See it if Greenspan's epic, solo tour-de-force adapt of O'Neill's 6hr soap opera Playing all 8 characters w/both spoken & interior dialogue he's *****

Don't see it if O'Neill's wordy pop psychology can be a tough slog esp moving into last hrs Constant moving via action grows tedious but Greenspan shines!

90
Absorbing, Great acting, Thought-provoking, Riveting, Entertaining

See it if You are challenged by the thought of a 6 hour night. I was very impressed by the skill and talent of David Greenspan.

Don't see it if You don’t enjoy solo shows! Lots of stairs too, but it was good to get up and move after the scenes as the chairs are somewhat uncomfortable

70
Ambitious, Clever, Indulgent

See it if You want to be able to say you were there. You are a Greenspan completeist. He does make the different characters, and the play, clear.

Don't see it if You can consider the possibility of too much David Greenspan. As usual, good as he is, he is always more David than the character he plays.

83
Absorbing, Great acting, Intelligent

See it if Like to use your imagination and pay attention to great acting doing a tour-do-force of multiple characters over many hours.

Don't see it if Hate one-person versions of shows.

96
Absorbing, Ambitious, Great acting, Riveting

See it if you like Eugene O'Neill, you like intense emotional dramas that dig deep into characters' psyches.

Don't see it if you are easily confused.

92
Absorbing, Ambitious, Epic, Great acting, A tour de force

See it if You are a fan of O'Neill, Greenspan, or the Transport Group. It's epic. The time went quickly. This is an "I was there" opportunity.

Don't see it if You like short, concise, easy theater. You cannot sit in a narrow seat for long stretches. You dislike melodrama.

Also Greenspan learned 5+ hours of dialogue and yet was able to not only di... Read more Read less

93
Absorbing, Great acting, Masterful, Must see

See it if you are a Eugene ONeil fan and wish to see a play not often done. An amazing dramatic accomplishment for this solo artist.

Don't see it if you hate solo works or long dramas of a bygone age.

Also The actor is amazing. Am glad i saw this production, and,although i li... Read more Read less

83
Ambitious, Great acting, Intelligent, Great writing, Slow

See it if You are a fan of Eugene O'Neill, and love watching great acting

Don't see it if you have a short attention span

95
Ambitious, Clever, Enchanting, Great acting, Masterful

See it if You want to see a once in a lifetime performance of immeasurable grace and wit.

Don't see it if I cannot imagine anyone who would not adore this production. See it.

80
Ambitious, Epic, Great acting, Masterful, Quirky

See it if You can be absorbed in something really long. It's a giant evening but I definitely found it to be worth it.

Don't see it if You know that you'll check out after 2 hours. (You have to stay actively invested in the show)

95
Ambitious, Epic, Great acting, Masterful, Entertaining

See it if You want to experience the power of masterful acting an almost impossible seeming accomplishment-an unforgettable experience in the theater.

Don't see it if You want a more traditional theatrical experience

88
During previews
Incredible feat of solo acting, not to mention stamina & memorization

See it if you are a fan of the inimitable Greenspan, at the top of his form here; or want to experience a unique version of O'Neill's sprawling play

Don't see it if marathon theatre or solo work is not your thing; this is six hours and change (with two short intermissions and a 30-minute "dinner" break)

Also Greenspan and director Cummings really manage to deliver the play, and... Read more Read less

90
During previews
Dizzying, Epic, Great acting, Intense, Masterful

See it if some of the most extraordinary acting i have ever seen - worth going just to witness his craft. The play is strange but fascinating.

Don't see it if NOT for everyone! It's very long & seats are uncomfortable; you need to be obsessed w O'Neill and/or the art of acting. But it is amazing.

Also The theater is evocative & beautiful; the staging ingenious & complex.... Read more Read less

93
During previews
Theatrical event of the year. utterly astounding

See it if an epic performance by Greenspan. How he switches between characters is astounding. A must-see for actors and theater buffs.

Don't see it if you can't endure five hours with 2 intermissions and a dinner break. But it's worth it and very entertaining.

Also Greenspan plays all eight parts in the 1923 play which is about an upp... Read more Read less

100
During previews
Great acting, Thought-provoking, Masterful, Must see, Riveting

See it if You want to be part of an amazing theatrical event. I found myself forgetting that there was one person performing every part. Mind bending

Don't see it if You don't like solo shows. But I suggest seeing it anyway!!!

88
During previews
Absorbing, Clever, Great acting, Thought-provoking, Seating too tight

See it if Monumental.. A Happening. BYO food or pre-order. 1/2 hour break to eat. Clever use of 3 stages. My 80, partner's 95. It's Eugene O'Neill..

Don't see it if Six hours from Curtain up to Curtain Call. Seats too tight. Many many steps, Too many whispered scenes. No credit to Irondale.

Also Greenspan plays every character to perfection.... Read more Read less

68
During previews
Pointless, Ambitious, Disappointing, Excruciating

See it if you want to see one actor perform all the roles in this nearly 100 year old O'Neill play, that won a Pulitzer and shook up audiences.

Don't see it if you dont want to squeeze into a narrow armless brutally uncomfortable seat for 5 + hrs to watch 1 actor undermine all meaning of this play.

90
During previews
Continuously surprisingly inventive, Environmental, A must experience, David greenspan = magnificent, Melodramatic comic genius

See it if you've never seen David Greenspan or TransportGroup, want a once in a lifetime experience, appreciate brilliant performance & direction

Don't see it if 6 hours is 2 long 2 pay attention, dislike totally melodramatic scripts, can't see how one actor can play 8 characters all at once, find out

95
During previews
Exciting, Great acting, Masterful, Riveting, Innovative

See it if you're on the fence about this zany Eugene O'Neill epic because David Greenspan is about to convert you with one Herculean performance.

Don't see it if you're a big ol' scaredy cat who is averse to risk because this is risk-taking of the highest order. Maybe you like a life of regrets?

90
During previews
Great acting, Intelligent, Thought-provoking, Must see, Great staging

See it if You are a fan of great acting. It's a one man show of a multi character play. The six hours fly by. An amazing evening of theatre!

Don't see it if you can't do six hours, don't like one person shows, have a problem with stairs