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Hughie

Hughie
Your Price: $14.95 CDN
Author: Eugene O'Neill
Publisher: Dramatists Play Service
Format: Softcover
# of Pages: 72
Pub. Date: 1998
ISBN-10: 0822205432
ISBN-13: 9780822205432
Cast Size: 2 men

About the Play:

Hughie is a one-act drama by Nobel Laureate and four-time Pulitzer Prize winner Eugene O'Neill. A small-time gambler reminisces about a hotel clerk to the clerk's successor. In one of his last works, Eugene O'Neill again writes of the defeated and the courage that comes by way of illusions reflecting still other illusions in a world that needs them all.

Hughie is set in the lobby of a seedy Times Square Hotel early one morning in the late 1920s. Only two characters appear on stage; Hughie, the third and most important on, is dead. It is Hughie's innocence, gullibility, and need to believe in a far more exciting existence than he ever knew which gives some kind of purpose to the shabby lives of the two who remain. Its characters are the hotel's gray, withdrawn night clerk, and "Erie" Smith, a penny-ante gambler who has spent most of his last fifteen years at the hotel between periods of drunkenness. His most recent bender was prompted by the death of the title character who was the night clerk's predecessor. Erie babbles through tales of his life's imaginary successes, as well as his panicky optimism towards the futile future. The night clerk can only listen to this study in fraudulent glibness which is touching, revealing, and a telling measure of what is behind this man's delusions.

Hughie, the only surviving manuscript from a series of eight one-act monologue plays that Eugene O'Neill planned in 1940, was completed in 1941. It was greeted on its 1958 premiere at the Royal Dramatic Theatre in Stockholm as "O'Neill's finest shortest play." It did not receive its American premiere until twenty years after its composition and ten years after the author's death. Originally produced in 1964 on Broadway at the Royale Theatre, it has spawned four Broadway revivals, a successful PBS television adaptation, and has enjoyed enduring international popularity.

Cast: 2 men

What people say:

"…it has a deep interest and importance for those fascinated by our foremost dramatist…." — New York Post

"Mr. O'Neill can keep us captivated with a single character and the power and persuasion of his language…." — New York Journal-American

"…uncoils with that persistent single-mindedness that was one of O'Neill's real theatrical virtues." — The Herald-Tribune

About the Playwright:

Eugene O'Neill (1889-1953), the father of American drama, the author of 49 plays, won four Pulitzer Prizes for drama, and is the only American playwright to have received a Nobel Prize (1936).

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