Magazine article The Nation

A Moon for the Misbegotten

Magazine article The Nation

A Moon for the Misbegotten

Article excerpt

A considerably less trusted dad than George Bush just left the stage of the Yale Repertory Theatre: Phil Hogan in Eugene O'Neill's A Moon for the Misbegotten. Hogan, a manipulative and unpleasant Irish-born farmer transplanted to Connecticut, committed no crimes so grievous as to deserve the interpretation he got from actor Roy Cooper, who blew lines like bubbles and so totally lost track of what he was doing onstage one night that the performance had to be stopped entirely. An even worse offender was Frances McDormand, whose distracted, perfunctory performance as Phil's daughter, Josie, made her sound like a slumming preppie.

How unfortunate that this production was the directorial swan song for Lloyd Richards, just departed from the Rep after twelve years as its artistic director. Perhaps the best thing Rep audiences can do with this forgettable production is to forget it, and remember instead Richards's intense, groundbreaking relationship both with the Rep and with the Yale School of Drama.

Athol Fugard loved the Rep because Lloyd was there, and at one point declared that he would use the Rep stage for the premieres of all his new plays. For years he did just that: 'Master Harold' . . . and the boys, A Lesson from Aloes, A Place With the Pigs and The Road to Mecca, along with important revivals of Boesman and Lena, Hello and Goodbye and The Blood Knot.

Under Richards, the Rep brought the work of State Department-blacklisted Italian political comedian Dario Fo, and twice brought Fo himself, to New Haven--one of those times to perform with his wife, Franca Rame. …

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