Still Waiting For Godot

It is a rare opportunity to view a world class play written by a world class author directed by a world class stage director for a top regional theatre such as the Marin Theatre Company’s recent production of Samuel Beckett’s “Waiting for Godot that opened on February 2nd 2013.”This short review addresses some of Jasson Minadakis’ comments on his experience directing his favorite play.

The Eternal Wait

Two clown hobos appear before us dressed in clothes that could represent any period or time.  When the clown hobo of slighter build (Didi played by Mark Bedard,) suggests “What if we….” the other of a little heavier build ( GoGo played by Mark Anderson Phillips) replies” We can’t .we’re waiting for Godot!” and repeats this every time the  former suggests an action..

And what if we repented?  asks the former. “We can’t, we’re waiting for Godot.” repeats the latter. Then they both stare into space.

They later encounter two other clown hobos-Lucky (Ben Johnson) and Pozzo (James Carpenter), who pulls Lucky by a rope. These clown hobos add variety to the piece with Pozzo (a well known local actor) playing the articulate master of his white long haired slave Lucky (a circus performer and featured clown in Cirque du Soleil’ tour of Alegria). All four clowns’ actions are subject to Godot’s appearing or not appearing.

After much questioning about Godot, Didi announces that he cannot go on when a little boy appears to say that they have a message from Godot.

”Mister,” the little boy (Lucas Meyers) enters to say, “Mister, you have a message from Godot!”“He will not come today but will be here tomorrow!” continues the boy.

”What does Mr. Godot do?” the others ask?”

“He does mostly nothing! replies the boy.

“Has he a beard? A black one?” They ask,

“ “No, a white one?”

”Tell Mr. Godot you saw me ! But are you sure you saw me?”

He then places his shoes down stage and adds, “We don’t go far from here because we are waiting for Godot”.

Performed on an empty stage with the four main players and the little boy, a moon that rises and falls, a rock, a tree, a rope that Pozzo has attached to Lucky’s waist and shoes that Go Go and places down stage, the clown acrobats make good use of the entire stage in their physical interpretations of characters quietly awaiting the arrival of an event or person both hopefully and hopelessly.  This likewise puts the brake on the need for action packed dramatic content. This ending grows more and more hopeful and comical as the protagonists become more and more accustomed to biding time and to utilizing their own creativity that soon vanquishes their fear of not succeeding. This prevents Beckett’s piece from ending tragically and for most lends an uplifting and positive note to this thought provoking play that incites us to delve in and reflect..

The Whipping Man  Next Up at MTC

On March 28th through April 21st 2013, Virginia Stage Company and Marin Theatre Company bring us Mathew Lopez’ “Whipping Man” about a couple of freed slaves who are now helping their former owner’s son, a wounded Confederate soldier. Celebrating Seder together despite their freedom they are still related through their faith and their and history. Look for Nicholas Pelczar, Peter Callender, and Tobie L. Windham, who are featured in this piece.

For information for both plays call l 415-388.5208.

Dr. Annette Lust