Producer David Richenthal still plans to bring a new production of Eugene O'Neill's Long Day's Journey Into Night to Broadway next season, but it won't be the one staged at Chicago's Goodman Theater earlier this year.
The Goodman revival was directed by Robert Falls and starred Brian Dennehy—the same duo Richenthal brought into New York to win the 1999 Tony Award for best revival of a play. The Chicago Journey also starred the Mary Tyrone of Pamela Payton-Wright, and Steve Pickering and David Cromer as the sons James Tyrone, Jr. and Edmund Tyrone.
The play started at the Goodman Theatre in Chicago Feb. 22, for an opening there March 4 and a run through April 6.
At one point, the production was targeting to jump straight to Broadway before the end of the current season. But then Richenthal, who had shepherded the venture from its inception, said that fall 2002 was a more likely target date.
Richenthal is still looking at the 2002-03 season (though maybe not the fall), but told Playbill On-Line May 10 that nobody on the Chicago creative team will be part of the Broadway Journey. He declined to elaborate on who might direct and star in the mounting. The shift in approach is only the latest wrinkle in a dramatic story. Journey's journey to Broadway has been a bumpy and twisted one. For more than a year, Dennehy remained the only announced star of the much-hyped, Broadway-bound venture. Then there was a murky business about which Journey would make it to Broadway first—the Goodman's or a London mounting, produced by Bill Kenwright and starring Jessica Lange. The showdown came to an end when Richenthal revealed he had been talking about the project “for several years” with Falls; furthermore, he held the rights to produce Journey on Broadway.
For a while, it looked like the Goodman show might be a hybrid of both stagings. According to news accounts, Kenwright and the Goodman were to co-produce the play, with Falls directing , Dennehy as James Tyrone and Lange as Mary Tyrone. Kenwright countered by calling the idea of a Kenwright-Richenthal venture "pure fantasy." Nonetheless, Falls openly courted Lange for the mounting for a while. Falls also mentioned that Philip Seymour Hoffman and Billy Crudup were in contention to play the two Tyrone sons. Robert Sean Leonard was also sought for a role at one point.
Earlier this year, Richenthal said that he and Falls decided not to put any undue pressure on the production by sticking to an immediate Broadway transfer. Richenthal said he would take a look at the Goodman production and then make his next move accordingly.