Performances began June 18 at the Studio Theatre of the world-famous festival. Performances continue in Stratford, Ontario, to Aug. 31.
Joe Grifasi plays the Night Clerk in Hughie, in which Dennehy plays gambler Erie, who regales a hotel clerk with stories. Dennehy play Krapp in the Beckett classic about a man whose life is documented on an audio tape.
Falls is artistic director of the Goodman Theatre in Chicago and the director of acclaimed Broadway productions of Death of a Salesman and Long Day's Journey Into Night, which both starred Dennehy, a longtime collaborator.
This marks Toronto-based director Tarver's debut at the Festival. She was the winner of the 2006 Pauline McGibbon Award and the 2002 John Hirsch Directors Award. Her most recent productions include Thom Pain (based on nothing), a one-man show featuring Tom McCamus; and Sarah Kane's Crave for Nightwood Theatre, for which she received a Dora nomination for Best Director. Tarver's production company Theatre Extasis, "which focuses on devised works and new adaptations of existing texts," produced That Time – Five Beckett Shorts in 2006. It garnered eight Dora Award nominations and four wins, including Best Director and Best Production. Falls has been the artistic director of Chicago's Goodman Theatre since 1986. His Broadway productions, Death of a Salesman and Long Day's Journey into Night, won seven Tony Awards and three Drama Desk Awards. Death of a Salesman went on to a run in London's West End.
Falls and Dennehy have collaborated for more than 20 years on many works by O'Neill, including The Iceman Cometh, A Touch of the Poet and Hughie. In 2009 Falls will direct Dennehy in the Goodman's production of Desire Under the Elms as the centerpiece of a major Goodman festival showcasing O'Neill's work.
Here's Hughie in a nutshell, according to Stratford: "In the wee hours of the morning, a small-time Broadway gambler regales the weary night clerk of a run-down hotel with self-aggrandizing yarns of booze, broads and big wins. Even as he brags, another narrative unfolds: the story of his relationship with Hughie, the clerk's recently deceased predecessor. A funny, poignant and brilliantly written study of character — both seen and unseen — by a master of American drama."
Krapp's Last Tape is billed this way: "Every year on his birthday, Krapp has tape-recorded an assessment of his life so far. Now, having just turned 69, he listens with mixed emotions to the tape he made 30 years earlier. Anger and regret entwine in ironic counterpoint with a memory of epiphany, just as the voice of Krapp's long-ago self counterpoints the new recording he now begins to make. A hauntingly enigmatic 'memory play' by the author of Waiting for Godot."
The creative team includes Patrick Clark (designer), Robert Thomson (lighting designer), Richard Woodbury (sound designer, Hughie), Peter McBoyle (sound designer, Krapp's Last Tape).
Dennehy is also appearing as the King of France in Stratford's All's Well That Ends Well.
For more information visit www.stratfordfestival.ca.