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Monday, July 06, 2009

Oh God, Are We There Yet? - Waiting For Godot - Play Review

Waiting For Godot - Studio 54 - Broadway, New York, NY - **1/2 (out of 5 stars)
Written by Samuel Beckett, Directed by Anthony Page
Closes July 12th 2009

Did you have to read Waiting for Godot in High School?

I did.....................................

For those of you who did. You know what I'm talking about.

For those of you unfamiliar with what is regarded as one of the classics in absurdist theatre, well, the show is about...

Well, first let me say that this Broadway revival is pretty amazing in itself just for putting this play back on Broadway.

And then they cast it with some of the best of the best, with Nathan Lane (The Producers), Bill Irwin (Rachel Getting Married), John Goodman (Roseanne), and John Glover (Smallville).

John Goodman and John Glover have gotten a lot of critical attention, and Glover got a Tony nod for his remarkably laborious role.

But I enjoyed watching Nathan Lane live for the first time, and thought he and Irwin's tragicomic duo worked best while they were alone on stage.

While they waited for God-Oh. (In case you haven't heard, we've been saying it wrong all this time. It IS actually GOD-Oh!)

And waited...

and waited...

and waited...

zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

and waited...

and waited...

and waited...

Nope. Still don't really get it.

Nope, seeing the play live isn't any more interesting than reading the play. Nor does it really bring out any more analysis than Coles Notes.

Okay, I GET IT but why do I need to sit for 2.5 hours for that one point?

Oh BTW, for those of you who never read this play or seen this play before? And wanted me to explain the plot? I just did.

I remember from High School thinking the play had a great existentialist point, but it was still all kinda bullshit with the joke on us. Kinda brilliant in that sense. After seeing the play, I haven't changed my opinion.

Here's the genius of Sesame Street's Monsterpiece Theatre in a far better re-telling of Waiting For Elmo (thanks to Kevin for the tipoff):



"COOKIE"!!!

Photos by Joan Marcus
Vance at http://tapeworthy.blogspot.com

5 comments:

Esther said...

Yeah, I liked the Sesame Street version better, too!

John Glover was great and it was nice to see Bill Irwin and Nathan Lane onstage for the first time but honestly, the play didn't do anything for me. I was kind of bored. I expected it to be funnier, more profound.

I was much more moved by Exit the King.

Plus, this was my first time seeing a play as opposed to a musical at Studio 54 and I could clearly hear the rumbling of the subway underneath my feet!

Susan said...

Having seen several productions of WFG and studying and working in theater for years I can say that this is the best production I have seen. Page has made the play accessible by keeping it simple and not trying to interpret or dress it up with additional 'bits' or contemporary references. The cast brilliantly portrays the humor and the agony of living a life like every life...waiting...waiting...waiting for something to change, for something to happen. As a young person I really didn't get it but as you grow older you do come to understand that this is our life and Beckett rather eloquently (if absurdly) protrayed it on stage. Who has not felt what Vladamir expresses in his heart wrenching, but simple, statement. "I can't go on"...and then just as quickly realized that he (or we) have said it aloud and thereby committed the greatest sin. Do we admit that we really don't know what it's all about or do we go on pretending, comforting ourselves with friends and distracting ourselves with silly conversation. As undecipherable as Lucky's speech may seem, it is, at the same time, full of insight.

Vance said...

Yah, I had troubled figuring out what grade to give it because just from knowing the play from reading it, I thought it was a terrific production, but I still wasn't convinced about the play itself. While I'm all about the idea of the play, and Lane, Irwin and co. definitely made it as easy to understand and connect as possible, I still just felt... bored...

Michelle said...

I saw it at the Centaur and thought my boredom was caused by a bad production (as the Centaur often is), but I guess I'm not the only one who doesn't get the play. Existentialism always bothered me.

On the other hand, I saw a great interview with the cast on Charlie Rose and it made me interested again. Though perhaps Monsterpiece Theatre will have to do....

Steve On Broadway (SOB) said...

Funny, I saw it right after having lunch with you. All I wanted to do was sleep. Coincidence?

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