"Exile is the worst, the torture of poor damned souls."
Mary Whipple | New England | 02/19/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Written as a well developed melodrama, this play by William Albert is so magnificently acted that it ultimately achieves the power and resonance of true tragedy. Faye Dunaway, who first played the role of Kathleen Stanton in New York in 1965, reprises her role in this 1971 teleplay, and all eyes are on her for the entire play. Set in 1890, with period costuming and sets, this production, beautifully directed by Glenn Jordan, maintains the intense, almost claustrophobic feeling of the stage play.
Dunaway is the devout, young, convent-educated wife of hot-headed Matt Stanton (Robert Foxworth), an up-by-the-bootstraps Dublin immigrant to Brooklyn. Having met her on a quick trip to London, he married her there in a secret civil ceremony. Now Matt is a candidate for mayor of Brooklyn, and he has promised her that he will marry her in the church as soon as he has won the election.
Gradually, Matt's history as "Hogan's goat" unfolds. For three years before his marriage to Kathleen, Matt had been the lover of Agnes Hogan, an older woman who helped him rise to success. When Matt comes into open political conflict with Ned Quinn (George Rose), the crafty mayor he is trying to replace, Quinn plans to blackmail Matt, since Kathleen does not know of the relationship with Agnes. The local priest (Philip Bosco), for mysterious reasons, later revealed, sides with Quinn. As the campaign heats up, the tensions in the marriage of Kathleen and Matt reach the breaking point, with Rue McClanahan as the devious Jo Finn playing a key role in exacerbating the trouble.
Filled with the passion of political, social, religious, and personal conflicts, the play deals with the theme of pride and the foolish sacrifices men make for it, with all the action seen as conflicting with honor, a belief in larger values. Dunaway conveys a remarkable combination of vulnerability and strength, and Foxworth, the ambiguity of a man who loves her but desperately wants power. Bosco, as the priest, reflects the hard-line morality which underlies the play, and Rose, as the mayor, is as venal as they come.
The casting is ideal, and the acting is superb, with each cast member controlling the tempo of his/her role and carefully avoiding over-acting in potentially melodramatic scenes. The full details of the relationship of Agnes Hogan and Matt Stanton are gradually revealed in a shocking conclusion. As the various characters are brought low by their pride but recognize their failings, the play achieves the status of true tragedy. Mary Whipple
gejome | Oakland CA | 01/27/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Is there ever a "Broadway theatre archive set to film, producing a bad product ? I doubt it. Hogan's Goat is no exception. Combine Faye Dunaway, Rue McClanahan and Philip Bosco and out comes an attention riveting viewing For anyone interested in serious story drama, loaded with talent, Hogan's Goat is very worth having"