NYC-Bound Hughie/Krapp's Last Tape, With Dennehy and Grifasi, Opens at Goodman

News   NYC-Bound Hughie/Krapp's Last Tape, With Dennehy and Grifasi, Opens at Goodman
The double bill of Eugene O'Neill's Hughie and Samuel Beckett's Krapp's Last Tape starring Brian Dennehy, seen at Canada's Stratford Shakespeare Festival in 2008, resurfaces at Chicago's Goodman Theatre, opening Jan. 25 after previews from Jan. 16, prior to a Broadway engagement.

Brian Dennehy in Krapp's Last Tape
Brian Dennehy in Krapp's Last Tape Photo by Liz Lauren

Two-time Tony Award winner Brian Dennehy (Long Day's Journey into Night, Death of a Salesman) assumes contrasting roles in the plays. Goodman artistic director Robert Falls directs Hughie, featuring Dennehy "as the wise-cracking, down-on-his-luck gambler Erie Smith," and Joe Grifasi as night clerk Charlie Hughes.

Dennehy then becomes the title character in Beckett's classic one-man show, Krapp's Last Tape, helmed by award-winning Canadian director Jennifer Tarver.

Broadway dates will be announced. A week was recently added to the Goodman run. Closing is now Feb. 28.


This production marks Dennehy and Falls' sixth O'Neill collaboration in two decades and their fourth production of Hughie, billed as "an intense, intimate character study composed late in the playwright's career." "The coupling of Hughie and Krapp's Last Tape creates a resonant, eloquent showcase of the finest work by three master artists of the theatre: Eugene O'Neill, Samuel Beckett and Brian Dennehy, my longtime collaborator and friend," stated artistic director Robert Falls. "These plays are mini-masterpieces; both are leavened by the black Irish humor that was the heritage of each author, and both offer incomparable challenges to an actor — which Brian negotiates with thrilling artistry. I am happy to welcome Jennifer Tarver to the Goodman for the first time, to recreate her successful production of Krapp's Last Tape that she directed at the Stratford Shakespeare Festival two seasons ago, and to welcome back Joe Grifasi, who so brilliantly plays our night clerk in Hughie."

In Hughie, "high-rolling gambler Erie (Brian Dennehy) and Hughie, the credulous night clerk at a single-occupancy hotel, were confidants. Hughie admired Erie for his bold lifestyle and Erie considered Hughie his good luck charm. When Hughie dies unexpectedly, Erie's luck changes for the worse and he finds himself in dire straits. Then Erie meets the new night clerk (Joe Grifasi), who reminds him enough of Hughie that he takes the gamble that his luck is about to change."

Krapp's Last Tape is Samuel Beckett's classic one-act, one-man show. "Every year on his birthday, Krapp (Brian Dennehy) records the important — and the banal — moments of the last year. As he prepares to record a new tape on his 69th birthday, he begins to listen to his archives. This immersion in his own history leads Krapp to question, with growing regret, whether his present lives up to his past."

The production team for Hughie/Krapp's Last Tape includes Eugene Lee (sets), Patrick Clark (costumes), Robert Thomson (lights) and Richard Woodbury (sound). Joseph Drummond is the production stage manager, and T. Paul Lynch is the stage manager. Understudies are Matt DeCaro (Dennehy) and Larry Neumann, Jr. (Grifasi).

Performances play Goodman's Albert Theatre. Tickets are $25–$83 and can be purchased online at, at the box office (170 North Dearborn) or by phone at (312) 443-3800.

Joe Grifasi and Brian Dennehy in <I>Hughie</i>
Joe Grifasi and Brian Dennehy in Hughie
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