O’Neill’s ‘Poet’ Returns

Judith BorneA&ELeave a Comment

Mr. O’Neill

Pacific Resident Theatre’s unparalleled flair for re-imagining the classics continues with their staging of the rarely produced “A Touch of the Poet” by Eugene O’Neill.

It is being staged Thursdays through Saturdays at 8, and Sundays at 3, at 703 Venice Blvd., Venice, through Jan. 29. Tickets are $25 – $30 and can be purchased online at http://www.pacificresidenttheatre.com or by calling 310.822.8392.

Robert Bailey directs (The Dock Brief, Turn of the Screw) a cast that includes Julia Fletcher, Matt McKenzie, Julia McIlvaine, John Dittrick, Brendan Farrell, Anthony Foux, Ron Geren, August Grahn, Dennis Madden, and Dalia Vosylius.

Burning with the dramatic fire of irreconcilable passions and conflicting dreams, O’Neill’s masterpiece is set in a tawdry tavern near Boston on the eve of Andrew Jackson’s election.

Irishman Con Melody drowns memories of his former greatness as a soldier and aristocrat in a dangerous stew of alcohol and regret, while his headstrong daughter struggles to win a better future for herself and her long-suffering mother. The play, which The New York Times dubbed “electric,” unleashes volcanic forces in a thrilling, unexpected climax.

O’Neill is the only American playwright ever to receive the Nobel Prize for Literature and he is a four-time recipient of the Pulitzer Prize. His masterpiece Long Day’s Journey into Night (produced posthumously 1956) is at the apex of a long string of great plays, including Beyond the Horizon (1920), Anna Christie (1922), Strange Interlude (1928), Ah! Wilderness (1933) and The Iceman Cometh (1946). Between 1920 and 1943 O’Neill completed 20 long plays–several of them double and triple length–and a number of shorter ones. After Shakespeare and Shaw, O’Neill became the most widely translated and produced dramatist in the 20th century.

Ms. Borne may be contacted at judith@borneidentities.com

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