Long Day’s Journey into Night

This son of a wealthy actor gives us a peek into their home, and it’s not as glamorous as you probably think.

By Andrew Andrews

Christopher Joel Onken (Edmund), Roxanne Fay (Mary), Taylor Congdon (Cathleen), Christopher Patrick Mullen (Jamie) and Steven Patterson (James) bring Eugene O’Neill’s Long Day Journey into Night to the Bridge Street Theatre in Catskill. Original photo by Lisa Wood.

It’s another August day at Monte Cristo Cottage at the edge of Long Island Sound, and that means another day full of bickering among the family of James Tyrone, a successful but miserly retired actor.

Mary, his wife, has just come home from rehab for a morphine addiction; Edmund, their younger son, is waiting to learn whether he’s suffering from consumption; and Jamie, the older son, is disparaged for blowing every penny on women and booze and failing to hold a job.

So begins our Long Day’s Journey into NightEugene O’Neill’s three-hour, four-act masterpiece on a ghostly, fog-inspired set in the sleepy little village of Catskill, New York.

Widely regarded as one of America’s greatest plays of all time, O’Neill’s autobiographical tale provides a glimpse into his dysfunctional family’s bored but troubled existence.

You might think it would be difficult to endure three hours of disparaging remarks between members of a privileged white family, but let me tell you: the time practically flies by.

Of course, a playwright doesn’t earn a Nobel prize for literature if they don’t know what they’re doing, but even the best script in the wrong hands can be a disaster—as proven by the many horrible productions of Shakespeare I’ve attended over the years!

Fortunately, Bridge Street doesn’t just know what they’re doing; they excel in bringing O’Neill’s feelings to life, beyond what’s exposed by the text.

Every troubled role has been perfectly cast, every pessimistic line is delivered flawlessly, and every sight and sound brings the audience to the Connecticut coast in the early 1900s.

After the first hour, you’ll swear you’ve hardly been in your seat.

By the second intermission, you’ll still feel energized by the performance.

And although your mind might wander a bit during a few diatribes in the final act, as you leave the theatre, you’ll receive a sticker that tells the world I SURVIVED LONG DAY’S JOURNEY INTO NIGHT.

And you’ll think to yourself, “That wasn’t difficult at all. In fact, I really enjoyed it.”

5

Andrew Andrews attended Long Day’s Journey into Night at Bridge Street Theatre in Catskill on Saturday, November 13, 2021 @ 7:00pm to write this review.