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Brian Dennehy: The big man's biggest role

Brian Dennehy: The big man's biggest role

Brian Dennehy sat cross-legged on a stool and bent to rub his aching right knee and shin. His day of rehearsing "The Steward of Christendom" would soon be done.

But the physical nicks and dings that the former Columbia University football lineman and ex-Marine copes with at age 75 weren't his main concern. He was more worried about getting his head around the part he'd handpicked for himself to play at the Mark Taper Forum, knowing full well that it's a forbidding green monster.

Green because it's Irish, Dennehy's favorite flavor by birth. Monster because Sebastian Barry's 1995 drama about the Irish Revolution of the early 1920s and its aftermath poses immense...