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  Strange Interlude at Sidney Harman Hall

Strange Interlude

Sidney Harman Hall
610 F Street NW Washington

Strange Interlude, one of O’Neill’s earlier plays, is a drama about love and deception. Heartbroken over her adored fiancé’s death, Nina engages in a series of sordid affairs before marrying a man she does not love. Months later, pregnant with her husband’s child, she learns a horrifying secret about his family, setting off a dramatic and emotional chain of events that spans two decades. Strange Interlude was hailed as revolutionary, shocked 1928 audiences—and became a smash hit. Kahn’s previous production of another O’Neill classic, Mourning Becomes Electra, was called a “raw force” by The Washington Post.

Presented by Shakespeare Theatre Company

Thru - Apr 29, 2012

Price: $20-$100

Box Office: 202-547-1122

Sidney Harman Hall Seating Chart

Nearby Restaurants

  Strange Interlude Reviews
  • Highly Recommended
  • Recommended
  • Somewhat Recommended
  • Not Recommended

Washington Post - Recommended

"...Faridany’s worthy match is Stanton, whose Charlie makes up in dyspeptic durability what he lacks in virility; the performance grows comically riper as the years fly by and Charlie stews more bitterly in his own vinegar. (The years’ passing aren’t recorded quite so convincingly in the robust visages of Thomas and Koch.) Van Griethuysen and Tana Hicken contribute resonantly in vivid, one-scene roles, and Rachel Spencer Hewitt locates the right kind of sauciness in the part of Nina’s daughter-in-law-to-be. Even with its many narrative bumps, the intriguing bruises raised by the characters of Kahn’s “Interlude” ultimately make it worth the luxurious time investment."
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Peter Marks

Examiner - Recommended

"...If we come to O’Neill’s play with preconceptions formed by his most performed blockbuster “A Long Day’s Journey into Night,” we will be thrown. This is a long life’s journey to an unexpected tranquility. An eminently theatrical one."

Joe Martin

MetroWeekly - Highly Recommended

"... Strange Interlude belongs to Nina and the men (some living, some dead) who haunt her life and psyche. And this is where O'Neill endures. Here is the American playwright who has captured lives unfulfilled, the troubled soul that can control all but itself, and the fleeting but melancholy power of passionate love."

Kate Wingfield

WeLoveDC - Recommended

"... The greatest triumph in this production is one that Kahn, O’Neill, and the actors all share credit in: these flawed and variously despicable, pathetic, and abhorrent people all manage to keep your affection and sympathy. Not in every moment; some of them make it very hard to respect or pity them in turns. But O’Neill shows you the paths these people take in their quest for happiness with such detail that you can see why they’d do these questionable things. Kahn and his actors wed the actions and appearances with the wordy details of their inner thoughts – often in very stark opposition to each other – into people you can believe."
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BroadwayWorld - Recommended

"...Strange Interlude is famous for the use of "asides" when actors stop the action from moving forward and explain to the audience what they are thinking and feeling. Is sometimes difficult to distinguish these asides. I kept wondering if there should have been hints to the audience, like changing the lighting so we would be sure it's an aside. But I believe part of the enjoyment and wonder of the play is figuring out when there is an aside in the first place."
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Charles Shubow

Talkin Broadway - Recommended

"... As part of his 25th season as artistic director of Washington's Shakespeare Theatre Company, Michael Kahn has staged Strange Interlude on the broad stage of Sidney Harman Hall. Through the efforts of a hard-working cast and a visionary design team, the work (pared down to three and three-quarter hours) is involving and highly dramatic."
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Susan Berlin

City Paper - Recommended

"... Which is something of an accomplishment, because even Kahn’s taut edit of Strange Interlude makes for a very strange play indeed, a drama that not only follows its characters over the course of a lifetime, but that turns their heads inside out at every moment. Each doubt, every internal judgment, every fleeting thought gets spoken aloud—in between more realistic exchanges of dialogue—until the web of public utterance and private thought becomes a seamless thing. To say that it requires an audience to pay attention is an understatement; to say that it requires the actors to be at the top of their game is to be painfully obvious."
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Trey Graham

Washingtonian - Highly Recommended

"... In many ways, O'Neill's play was ahead of its time (there's talk early on of Nina "touching bottom" in her grief, long before the language of addiction and recovery was commonplace). Its intricate, textured style requires some grappling with, but there's a real prize at the core of this impressive production."
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Sophie Gilbert

BrightestYoungThings - Somewhat Recommended

"... The first act is somewhat slow. The play needs to set up dominoes to topple. But the anxiety of Strange Interlude's run-time will prey on impatient types intermittently. Personally after the first intermission I was thrown into the rush of drama and forgot about its length. But I know that won't be the case for many. And as a play exploring the subject of interior life and "How to live?" existentialism, the subject matter isn't as titillating as possible. But I can say that this four hour play is better than 80% of two hour productions I've seen."
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Logan Donaldson

Washington Blade - Somewhat Recommended

"... The actors dive into this material with great commitment, but encounter a few problems along the way. Some are in the script. “Interlude” is famous for O’Neill’s use of spoken inner monologues, ranging from a word or two to short paragraphs. Film and stage directors have tackled these in a variety of ways — voice-overs, masks, freezes. Kahn skillfully guides his cast through these asides in a more naturalistic manner, using shifts in tempo, physical position and visual focus to clearly mark outer dialogue and inner monologue. But while Kahn’s pacing and staging are always masterly, he can’t ultimately hide the problem with O’Neill’s great theatrical experiment — it takes longer to speak subtext than to act it. The spoken asides get repetitive and are often rather obvious."
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Brian T. Carney

Two Hours Traffic - Somewhat Recommended

"... Ultimately, I found myself more frustrated with the play than pleased with the production itself. I went into this production hoping to be turned into an O'Neill fan, but came out convinced that O'Neill just wasn't for me. It's not that I can't distinguish between a play and a production; I've seen fabulous productions of mediocre material, and I've seen productions of plays that normally drive me batty be brilliant (for a prime example, see last season's "Old Times" at STC)."
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MD Theatre Guide - Somewhat Recommended

"... Michael Kahn and company should be applauded for the effort. Faridany’s performance alone is worth the price of admission. But after seeing O’Neill’s play, I understand why it is not produced as much as some of his other masterworks."
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Elliot Lanes

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