A Moon for the Misbegotten is Eugene O’Neill’s last play. It offers a glimpse into the tortured soul of a character based on O’Neill’s brother, James, who died at the age of 45, of alcoholism.
I did not have the good fortune to see Mr. Byrne’s portrayal of the character James Tyrone on Broadway in the 2000 revival of the play, with his co-star Cherry Jones as Josie, his star-crossed love, and Roy Dotrice as her father. So, it is difficult for me to put his performance in context for you. However, the reviews tell a story that I delight in sharing:
“Mr. Byrne’s long third-act monologue…is a harrowing act of self-administered surgery, etched in escalating degrees of pain. It is, in a word, brilliant, itself the stuff of theatrical legend.”
“…the overshadowing brilliance of Gabriel Byrne’s Jamie.”
“Mr. Byrne’s restrained, amazing performance is one for the ages.”
“Mr. Byrne touches every emotional note without seeming to try.”
“Mr. Byrne’s unshowy, lacerating honesty is in perfect tune with Eugene O’Neill’s, and he is giving the performance of a lifetime.”
“…Byrne carries the audience along with James to the bottom. It’s an astonishing, soul-scouring feat.”
“Byrne’s performance gives this “Moon” its glowing center.”
These are possibly the most positive, heart-felt, and, indeed, glowing reviews Gabriel Byrne has ever received. It gives me a lot of pleasure just to sit here and type these words, believe me.
And I’ve been quite happy, as we near the Valentine’s Day holiday, to create the Mega Stage Page for this performance as well. The page is overflowing with promotional stills, quotes from the play, reviews, screencaps (!), and video (!), as well as posters, background information, and even more pictures. Join James and Josie for their one night under the moon–and see Gabriel Byrne on stage in a role that he made his own.