Lie, the Beloved Country

Two revivals of classic dramas show America's knack for denying the truth

Darrow—er, "Drummond"—for the defense: Benjamin Walker and Christopher Plummer in  Inherit the Wind
Joan Marcus
Darrow—er, "Drummond"—for the defense: Benjamin Walker and Christopher Plummer in Inherit the Wind

Details

Inherit the Wind
By Jerome Lawrence and Robert E. Lee
Lyceum Theatre
149 West 45th Street
212-239-6200

A Moon for the Misbegotten
By Eugene O'Neill
Brooks Atkinson Theatre
256 West 47th Street
212-307-4100

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This is big, grim stuff, which O'Neill tries to enliven with heavy helpings of folk comedy. (Mary McCarthy, reviewing the play's first publication, compared O'Neill to a man trying to build "a homemade Trojan Horse" in his backyard.) Howard Davies's production lets you feel the bigness, though none of his performers are really up to it. Kevin Spacey, showy and speedy-mouthed, gets nothing of Tyrone's inner deadness; Best, busily signaling Josie's vulnerability, is far too fine-boned and delicate-featured for this Amazonian role. Even Meaney barely comes off as a meanie. Robards and Dewhurst, sorely missed, are available on DVD.

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