The coolest thing about the boffo reviews for the new Australian production of Long Day’s Journey into Night is that it gives Mr. Scatter the chance to type the word “boffo.”
Boffo. There it is. He loves that word. It makes him feel so, so … Variety-ish. As in, “Sticks Nix Hick Pix” (improved to the more rat-a-tat “Stix Nix Hix Pix” in the 1942 movie musical Yankee Doodle Dandy.) Please hand Mr. Scatter his wide-brimmed hat with the “Press” card sticking out from the band. He’ll spring for drinks, giggles and gossip at the Cocoanut Grove if you’ll bring him the lowdown for his next juicy Hollywoodland scoop. Wait: Is that Gloria Swanson in the next booth?
In brief: Sydney Theatre Company‘s production of Eugene O’Neill’s harrowing masterpiece has been knocking ’em dead Down Under, as critic John McCallum writes in The Australian. Starring William Hurt, Robyn Nevin, Luke Mullins and Portlander Todd Van Voris, it’s a co-production with Portland’s Artists Repertory Theatre. It continues in Sydney through Aug. 1, then comes stateside for its run at Artists Rep Aug. 13-29.
Praising the cast across the board, McCallum calls it “a stunning, absorbing production, full of emotional complexity.” Here’s what he has to say about Van Voris, who plays the sozzled son Jamie:
“Van Voris’s Jamie, rotund and strutting self-confidently at first, has degenerated into an alcoholic wreck by the time he returns at the end from the bars and whorehouses to which he has tried to escape. In a powerful long scene he drunkenly reveals something of his scary true nature. But here too, as well as the hate and selfishness, we can see the love underneath, a love that he has been so assiduously trying to drown in whisky for so long.”
Of more than passing interest: Artists Rep will follow up on Long Day’s Journey with a new production of the rarely revived Ah, Wilderness!, a warmly nostalgic play that’s the closest O’Neill ever came to writing a flat-out comedy. It’ll run Sept. 7-Oct. 10.
Boffo. Boffo. Boffo.
Mr. Scatter just can’t help himself.
PICTURED: The cast of “Long Day’s Journey Into Night,” from left: William Hurt, Todd Van Voris, Robyn Nevin, Luke Mullins. Photo: Jez Smith