Impressive turnout for O’Neill masterpiece at the Aplo Theater

Seeing this show requires booking at least 10 days in advance. Almost on a nightly basis, the Aplo Theater’s production of Eugene O’Neill’s «Long Day’s Journey into Night» is attracting turnout beyond expectations. So strong a draw is the theater’s interpretation of this extremely troubling and demanding play – whose autobiographical plot is based on a family of colossal woes – that some members of the audience are prepared to sit in the aisles. The production at the Aplo Theater (4 Harilaou Trikoupi, Kallithea, tel 210.922.9605) is performed by a wonderful cast consisting of Costas Vassardanis as the sickly younger son, Rania Economidou as the morphine addict mother, who is also tormented by suppressed desires, Alkis Kourkoulos as the alcoholic older brother, and Dimitris Kataleifos as the frugal father. This quartet makes up the Tyrone family. Stage director Antonis Antypas’s interpretation, which lasts three hours, highlights the affection in the family, the fine balance of the circumstances it confronts, as well as the ghastly emotional hardship experienced, ranging from lighter moments to realization and compromise amid harsh reality. «O’Neill, an artist who researches, looks to the past to find what went wrong… All four Tyrones share an intense hatred of the present and its morbid, inescapable reality. All four seek solace from the shocks of life in nostalgic memories, which they achieve through different paths,» says Robert Brustein, an eminent scholar of O’Neill’s work. Though depression, suffering and hopelessness dominate the three-hour play, it maintains the audience’s utmost interest throughout. This of course can also be attributed to the director and the wonderful acting. In this three-hour performance, which covers a lifetime, everything unfolds within the four walls of one house.