Longa Viagem de Volta Pra Casa (The Long Voyage Home) Closing (Theater and Galleries) Recommended The Short List (Theater)

When: Jan. 22-25 2009

Eugene O'Neill has a reputation as one of the Great Boring Dead--the sort of theatrical genius whose long, dark, Freud-fraught masterpieces you might sit through the way a 12-year-old sits through religious school, and for the same reason. If things keep up like they're going, though, the Goodman Theatre's festival, "A Global Exploration: Eugene O'Neill in the 21st Century," may help dispel that rep. First came the Wooster Group's sly, smart deconstruction of The Emperor Jones. Now there's this entry--at once odd and affecting--from Brazil's Companhia Triptal. The Long Voyage Home is very early O'Neill--one of four one-act sea plays he wrote between 1913 and 1917--and deals with Ollie, an alcoholic Swede whose plan to clean himself up and chuck the sailor's life runs aground in a port-town brothel. The production poses a challenge for an American audience in that it's performed in Portuguese with English supertitles. And some of the surreal gestures in adapter-director Andre Garolli's 60-minute neo-Brechtian interpretation seem out of place. But Garolli's physically and emotional brave ensemble overcome everything, making Ollie's tale vividly comic, bitter, raw--and in the end, tragic. --Tony Adler

Price: $15

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