The Arts

Shaw Festival 2009 – Eugene O'Neill's A Moon for the Misbegotten

Shaw Festival 2009 – Eugene O'Neill's A Moon for the Misbegotten featured image

reviewed by Paula Citron
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A Moon for the Misbegotten
Shaw Festival
Written by Eugene O’Neill
Directed by Joseph Ziegler
Starring Jenny Young, David Jansen and Jim Mezon with Billy Lake and Patrick McManus
At the Court House Theatre until Oct. 9

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Sometimes productions don’t gel, even when there is excellent talent involved. Such a case is the Shaw Festival’s A Moon for the Misbegotten.

Eugene O’Neill’s characters are larger than life. His style is heightened realism. Director Joseph Ziegler has treated the material like kitchen sink drama – realistic, yes, but without the cosmic edge.

The heart of the play is that the lead characters both find redemption. Josie Hogan is described as a huge hulk of a woman, so having the petit Jenny Young in the part makes no sense. Her Irish accent obscures words and she plays her feistiness all on one note. David Jansen is miscast as the troubled James Tyrone, Jr. He is too modern and not romantic enough.

If falls to Jim Mezon as Josie’s father to portray an O’Neill character as intended, but in comparison to the other two, he appears to be over-acting.

A Moon for the Misbegotten continues at the Court House Theatre until Oct. 9.

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