Theater: Playwright as Hedgehog

Hughie, by Eugene O'Neill. The Greek poet Archilochus said: "The fox knows many things but the hedgehog knows one big thing." Eugene O'Neill was a hedgehog playwright, and the one big thing he knew was this: the truth kills-the lie of illusion nourishes life. O'Neill dealt with this theme long and lovingly in The Iceman Cometh. Then, 23 years ago, he wrote a one-act, 65-minute postlude to that play; Hughie is a kind of Iceman's ice cube. But O'Neill was a stage animal to the theater born, and even his minor efforts are brushes with the lion's paw.

If Hickey the hardware...

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