|Production Stage Manager:||Jack Gianino|
|Opened:||8/96 at the Circle in the Square|
|Cast:||Al Pacino and Paul Benedict|
Pacino shines as director and actor in this two-character, one-act play. Set in 1928 in the lobby of a second-rate Manhattan hotel, the play features Erie (Pacino), a failed gambler and horse player who spends the wee hours of the evening bending the ear of a disinterested night clerk (Benedict). He's just come off a five-day drunk triggered by the death of Hughie, the previous night clerk. Erie tells the new clerk how his wild tales of legendary crap games, winning long shots and romantic escapades made life bearable for Hughie. However, Erie's manners and even his clothing — a cheap, wrinkled tan suit — suggest his life-in-the-fast-lane stories are more fiction than fact. Pacino brings a full, satisfying performance to a piece O'Neill himself suggested was “written more to be read than staged.” And Benedict is superb as the blank-faced night clerk.