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Waiting For Godot

By Samuel Beckett

Directed by Gregg W. Brevoort

Juneau-Douglas Little Theatre
Juneau, AlaskA

 

Info-Juno / On Stage With George Rogers
'Waiting For Godot'
at the Juneau-Douglas Little Theatre
By George Rogers

– “It is nothing short of a miracle”

Beckett’s “Waiting For Godot” never was my idea of good theatre even in its heyday. Juneau-Douglas Little Theatre director Gregg W. Brevoort in an interview went even further to say that he hated the play. Therefore, it is nothing short of a miracle that I find myself recommending that you see the JDLT production directed by a self-professed hater of Beckett. The reason is simply that Brevoort in approaching the work divested himself of all the academic nonsense that has been devoted to Beckett’s work since the fifties, reduced the three hour running time of the original script to half that length by getting rid of tedious repetition, transformed two minor characters (Pozzo and Lucky) into wonderfully funny ventriloquist dummies and the two main characters into down at the heels vaudeville performers and the setting to an empty theatre. The allegory to the human condition remains in more understandable form and the process reveals that Beckett did have a Celtic sense of humor – I suspect early on he may have enjoyed the seriousness with which his work was approached.

In addition to the director’s contribution, the cast in fleshing out their characters and in their inspired performance adds other dimensions to this otherwise desiccated museum piece. The two old vaudevillians, Marvin Borgmeir and Wil Shindler, perform with exquisite comic timing and headlong pace and Ben Wygant as the ambiguous boy (or boys?) who is Godot’s messenger is charming. Lights and set by Brendan Wallace were inspired!

This is not for serious Beckett fans. But for the rest of us, it is great fun.