Passion. Desire. The ad copy for the current production of best short essay in the world essay marking tips go site argumentative essay ghostwriting service age restriction on viagra essay on importance of computer in modern life lexapro allergy see psychology research papers presentations essay chapters creative writing major colleges diferena entre viagra de 50 mg e 100mg ana maria levitra que es mejor patrex o viagra cheap scholarship essay ghostwriter services for university accountability in nursing essay samples source url drugs that interact with synthroid pricing of yasmin in singapore thesis chapters 1-3 follow url viagra eine droge discursive essay animal rights cialis 5 mg funziona essay science boon bane society 2000 words go serve il cialis Desire Under the Elms is the kind of sexy teaser producers hope will put bodies in seats. No way would they tout the especial skills of Eugene O’Neill, an American playwright for the ages. But it’s his story up there, and while it’s by no means his best, Desire (not seen on Broadway since 1952) still retains enough fascination to hold an audience.

Epic is what O’Neill does, and this story of grief, greed and passion (I could go on—think the Greeks) gets what is at once a revisionist, and traditional, treatment courtesy of director Robert Falls, who edits it down to a cool 100 minutes. He doesn’t try to update the crazy love triangle between father, son and father’s new wife, smooth out the playwright’s crazy verbosity (O’Neill’s written dialect is Sanskrit on the page) or its historical underpinnings (America’s gold rush, a desperate time indeed). You may question his choice of physical setting, but a rock quarry (and that suspended house, an act of spatial compression that, thanks to set designer Walter Spangler, Frank Lloyd Wright would praise) feeds this depiction of trapped lives/repressed lust/macabre tragedy more effectively than a grove of elms.

In a less competitive season (I hope it’s that, and not bizarre politics) all three principals would be collecting kudos for such searching, sensitive work. It’s an ensemble for the ages, and Brian Dennehy, Pablo Schreiber and Carla Gugino are working miracles on the stage of the St. James Theater. Alas, the show closes May 24 – is it a comment on O’Neill, or the audience’s hesitation to engage a time whose economic climate eerily echoed our own?

Photo, Sara Krulwich