THEATER: THE GODFATHER GOES SOLO

PACINO ACTS AND DIRECTS O'NEILL ON BROADWAY

In Hollywood's Golden Age--around the time Al Pacino was born, and Eugene O'Neill was writing his short play Hughie--nearly all movie actors came from the stage. They had voices then, and a glamour that could penetrate both the footlights and the kleig lights. Yet few stars of the '30s and '40s returned to the theater when they and it were in their prime.

So go figure: today, when elocution is a nearly lost art and Broadway has faded into the Great White Where?, lots of big-time stars are doing theater. Serious stuff, like Shakespeare and Beckett. Robert De Niro, Dustin Hoffman,...

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