From my Playwright at Liberty blog.
By critical consensus at least, Long Day’s Journey into Night ranks as the Great American Play. But one needn’t necessarily be a critic, or susceptible to the official canon, to attain reverence for Eugene O’Neill’s ultimate (in both senses of the word) cri–de-couer. One need only see, or read, it.
Autobiography abounds in our native theatre, of course, whether by hint or inference (Neil Simon’s Come Blow Your Horn and Jake’s Women and Lanford Wilson’s Yellow Sky and all of Tennessee Williams’ great works, for example, or even some of Larry Hart’s and Stephen Sondheim’s lyrics) or through near-documentary (Simon’s Chapter Two, his alliterative and O’Neill-inspired — at least in name — “Eugene” trilogy and the superb Lost in Yonkers, Larry Kramer’s The Normal Heart.) Seldom, however, has an American playwright drawn so extensively on his own past…
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