4.11.13

Waiting for Godot in Boston

Gare St Lazare Players' / Dublin Theatre Festival production finds its way to Boston
Photograph: RosKavanag
From Ed Siegel (wbur.org):
Every successful production of “Waiting for Godot” makes gracelessness graceful, boredom entertaining, and facing the abyss transcendent. This is, after all, the seminal play of high modernism in which, according to one famous review, “Nothing happens, twice.”

Samuel Beckett, for all the dour implications of his work, appreciated a good time. He loved comedians like Buster Keaton and the two principals of “Waiting for Godot,” Vladimir and Estragon, aren’t just a pair of schmos contemplating the meaningless or monotony of life, but cut-ups in the manner of Laurel and Hardy or Abbott and Costello.

They’re the kind of comedic duos that come to mind watching Conor Lovett and Gary Lydon chew the lack of scenery in the excellent Gare St Lazare Players-Dublin Theatre Festival production, which was cocommissioned by ArtsEmerson and is now at the Paramount Mainstage (through Nov. 10).

Beckett was very specific about how the play be presented and there’s only so much one can do with “A country road. A tree. Evening.” Director Judy Hearty Lovett and her designers and cast do quite a bit.

In many productions either Vladimir or Estragon seems the card and the other the straight man but Lovett and Lydon seem more like equals here, at least comedically since Vladimir is the alpha dog in this Bizarro universe. The two have such a winning chemistry that their perambulations through this terrain seem equally philosophical and absurdist at the same time. They never weigh the play down, but they also don’t diminish its implications of insignificance. [Read More]

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