February 29, 2016
By Dr. Leonard Golubchck, Entertainment Editor for Labor Press
New York, NY – This is a new production of Eugene O'Neill's play starring Oscar winning actor Forest Whitaker who is making his Broadway debut. The play first appeared on Broadway in 1944.
This show with an one hour running time takes place in a shabby hotel lobby in 1928 where Forest Whitaker (who plays Erie) and his costar Frank Wood( who portrays the night clerk) calls the hotel as “ homey as a morgue”. The namesake of the show, “Hughie” refers to a night clerk who recently died.
Forest Whitaker Plays Erie Smith a small time gambler with aplomb talking to the night clerk who spends most of the night listening to Erie. The play was directed by Michael Grandage who attempts to capture the meaning and feeling of the O’Neil’s script and meaning of the play. The set designed by Christopher Oram perfectly establishes the hotel lobby as a prequel to the decay represented by the meaning of the play.
Mr. Whitaker down plays the character to a point of nothingness. as he ponders his past glory as a gambler. Mr. Wood spends most the show listening to the long monologue of Erie.
This is a show which could have been more dramatic if the main character Eire played it like his Oscar winning role in the “King of Scotland”.