Theater: Sending Shivers of Greatness Strange Interlude

by Eugene O'Neill

There was something about Eugene O'Neill's dour eminence as the trailblazer of serious American drama that made his critics and colleagues want to crack wise. While he toiled to bring Euripidean depth and grandeur to domestic melodrama, the nimble midgets in attendance played at defacing his stature. Strange Interlude ran for 4 1/2 hours and an impressive 426 performances; road companies packed the provinces for three seasons after its 1928 opening; the play brought O'Neill his third Pulitzer Prize, and sped him on to a Nobel in 1936. And still the jesters japed. Critic Alexander Woollcott, noting that one of the...

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