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Adagio Teas
   Features  >  NY Theater Reviews

at Studio 54


  Nathan Lane and Bill Irwin/Ph: Sara Krulwich

Just like Seinfeld, Waiting for Godot is a show about nothing. Two homeless tramps wait for a mysterious stranger to arrive and nothing much else happens. Meanwhile, they eat food, play games, perform impersonations and contemplate killing themselves.

Though Samuel Beckett's play about a meaningless existence is certainly no stranger to both high and pop culture, it still remains pretty baffling and frustrating to those unfamiliar with Theater of the Absurd. Perhaps that is why it has not been performed on Broadway since 1957. Accordingly, the Roundabout Theatre Company deserves a lot of credit for taking on such an ambitious assignment.

Director Anthony Page has not attempted to reinvent Godot or infuse any new meaning. The set, depicting a rocky mountain pass instead of a lone tree and mound of dirt, is bigger and less stark than usual. But for the most part, this is an extremely traditional production of the play. But thanks to its cast, it is also a very effective and enjoyable one.

Nathan Lane and Bill Irwin display fantastic comedic chemistry together as bosom buddies Estragon and Vladimir, excelling in both the vaudeville comedy and heartbreaking melancholy aspects. While Lane's is deeply emotional, he resists the urge to indulge in the comic shtick that has marred so many of his recent performances.

John Goodman, clad in a riding suit, is nicely expressive as the monstrous Pozzo. John Glover, playing his abused slave Lucky, manages to be convincing in a role that is largely about shouting out random nonsense.

We can't promise that you will understand Waiting for Godot. But so far as Beckett revivals go, this Godot really reaches the top of the class.



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