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  Hughie at Lansburgh Theatre


Lansburgh Theatre
450 7th Street NW Washington

One of O'Neill's later works, Hughie is a commanding study of "Erie" Smith, a man whose illusions of a grand lifestyle are wavering after the death of the stranger who quietly validated his larger-than-life confidence. Erie is searching for a new person to affirm his transparent fantasies or else he will be forced to face his own crushing self-pity. Hughie stands to transfix its audience with the raw force wrought by one of O'Neill's most stirring characters.

Presented by Shakespeare Theatre Company

Thru - Mar 17, 2013

Price: $55-$100

Running Time: 55 minutes without intermission

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  Hughie Reviews
  • Highly Recommended
  • Recommended
  • Somewhat Recommended
  • Not Recommended

Washington Post - Highly Recommended

".. It all adds up. This “Hughie” quietly slides into a deep existential funk that’s pure O’Neill, and the deceptively colorful Schiff expands and takes the space that the bluesy Erie needs — wandering into darkness, exploding in frustration, joshing himself back toward life. The show is short, barely an hour. But it’s a deep, full evening of theater."
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Nelson Pressley

Washington Examiner - Recommended

"...Schiff is superb as Erie, seeping with maudlin self-pity while making the past sound like a nirvana where his horses never lost a race and he won every game of craps. Yet as Erie proceeds to unburden his soul, he at least is aware that there is little to reveal: He's a fraud, a man who agrees to go to Hughie's house for dinner, then immediately regrets having to put up with Hughie's wife and children, then afterward admits it wasn't so bad."
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Barbara Mackay

DCist - Highly Recommended

"...As much as this play may be about a man who is tragically unaware of himself, it's also, in the end, about connection and persistence. Like any good fire, this production is a slow burn, which will engulf you before you’ve had time to recognize the heat."
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Alexis Hauk

Talkin Broadway - Highly Recommended

"...Eugene O'Neill is most renowned these days for his epic dramas, but the production of Hughie now at the Shakespeare Theatre Company's Lansburgh Theatre in Washington, DC, offers an exquisite example of the playwright's skill as a portraitist. The hour-long work is well served by director Doug Hughes and actor Richard Schiff."
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Susan Berlin

Washingtonian - Highly Recommended

"....Eugene O’Neill’s 55-minute meditation on modernity and loneliness, Hughie, is the kind of brief work that could quite easily be seen, pondered, and then quickly forgotten. But in the hands of director Doug Hughes and stars Richard Schiff and Randall Newsome, the production currently playing at Shakespeare Theatre Company is a testament to the indefinable power of theatricality, from the subtle, absorbing performances of the two actors to the tricks Hughes uses to engage O’Neill’s 1920s drama with contemporary America."
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Sophie Gilbert

DC Metro Theater Arts - Highly Recommended

"...Shakespeare Theatre Company has a quiet hit with Eugene O'Neill's one-act Hughie. It is a deceptively simple production about an old guy, Erie Smith (Richard Schiff) who returns to his Broadway hotel at 3 AM and meets the new night clerk (Randall Newsome). The old night clerk, Hughie, may well have been the only friend he ever had and over the course of an hour played out in real time, he reminisces about the late Hughie, as well as death in general, life, and a life wasted. In their own ways, both characters seem hopelessly stuck - one in the life of a gambler and one as a career night clerk with three kids - but unlike most O'Neill's plays that leave you with your guts ripped out, there is a fine note of optimism in this early morning meeting, which is perhaps why it has proved so enduring, particularly to actors who want to tackle the iconic Erie Smith."
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Jessica Vaughan

ShowBizRadio - Highly Recommended

"...Schiff’s performance is a clinic in how an actor can give a character profound emotional and dramatic force without ever resorting to histrionics. Schiff’s characterization is long on quiet, understated storytelling, with exquisite use of silences and only occasional crescendos that then quickly subside. He walks slowly and rises wearily from chairs, his body showing Erie’s spiritual as well as physical exhaustion."
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Bob Ashby

DCTheatreScene - Highly Recommended

Some actors push their virtuosic energy boldly across the proverbial footlights, as if demanding audience members to listen, all but grabbing them by the throats. Then there are others who hold their energy close in, necessitating any audience member who wishes to understand to draw close and pay very focused attention.
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Susan Galbraith

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