By Jim McCarthy Mar 22, 2012 0 comments

Waiting for Godot

Last night, I saw Waiting for Godot at the Mark Taper Forum in LA, and it was interesting because although I read and even had to write about the play in college, I’d never actually seen it performed.

I love the Taper because the seats are all great and every customer feels like he or she is right there with the actors.

Gosh, I wish I could dig up my old scholarly work on Godot but alas, it’s been a while.  Not only that, but really, I doubt it would make for scintillating reading.  I’ve always seen this as a bleak and tragic work, but it played for much more comedy than I expected last night.  There were parts of the show that had people really rolling, but that I thought were quite somber.  I don’t doubt that I am weird.

Here’s the other thing I would say about Godot: the absurdist thing, of which this particular show is perhaps the most famous example, is designed to punish the viewer for his or her desire to want the comfort of a plot, relatable characters or a sense of resolution.  I’ve always taken it as a way of slapping the viewer on the wrist for wanting the neat and tidy resolution that most theatre (or most entertainment in general, frankly) brings.  Instead, it shoves you out into the cold and forces you to realize that reality, as opposed to what happens in a play, is much more ambivalent, delivers less resolution, and is more absurd.

The performances were strong, and James Crowmwell sorta stole the show.  As usual, great work happening at the Taper.

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