Hogan's Goat

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Hogan's Goat is an award-winning 1965 play by William Alfred.

The blank-verse drama concerns a mayoral contest between Irish Americans in Brooklyn, New York in 1890. The play's focus is on the personal life of Matthew Stanton, the dynamic leader of the Sixth Ward, who hopes to unseat corrupt incumbent Ned Quinn. Stanton's wife Kathleen fears campaign publicity will reveal that they never were married in the Catholic Church, a fact uncovered by Quinn, who also discovers Stanton was once the "kept man" (known as a "goat" in the lexicon of the time) of Agnes Hogan, Quinn's ex-girlfriend who is now on her deathbed. Blinded by ruthless ambition, Stanton ignores Quinn's threats to reveal his past and forges ahead with the race, ultimately destroying not only his political career, but his marriage as well.

Directed by Frederick Rolf, the off-Broadway production opened for the The American Place Theatre on November 11, 1965 at the Theater at St. Clement's Church,[1] then moved to the East 74th Street Theatre[2] completing a run of 607 performances. The original cast included Ralph Waite as Stanton, Faye Dunaway as Kathleen, and Tom Ahearne as Quinn, with Cliff Gorman and Conrad Bain in supporting roles. Replacements later in the run included Barnard Hughes, Richard Mulligan and Kay Chevalier.[3]

Alfred won the Drama Desk Award for Best Playwright and Dunaway and Mulligan earned the Theatre World Award for their performances [1]. No American drama was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Drama 1966. Hogan's Goat was reported to have been one of only two works that were discussed.[4]

In 1970, Alfred wrote the lyrics and co-wrote the book for a musical adaptation entitled Cry for Us All, which proved to be a critical and commercial failure. The following year he wrote the teleplay for a television movie directed by Glenn Jordan. The PBS broadcast starred Robert Foxworth as Stanton, Dunaway as Kathleen, and George Rose as Quinn, with Philip Bosco, Kevin Conway, and Rue McClanahan in supporting roles. It is available in VHS and DVD formats.

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