Regional Reviews: Florida - Southern
Waiting for Godot
Set outside in what appears to be a near-barren wasteland, Waiting for Godot begins with Vladimir (Lito Becerra) and Estragon (Seth Trucks), two aging, Laurel and Hardy-esque hobos with bedraggled clothes who have traveled together for a long time with no aim, purpose, destination or achievement. Poor in means, knowledge, spirit and health, the two wait fruitlessly for Godot, someone of importance to them who never shows. Of the two, Vladimir is the more proactive while Estragon is the more reactive, though neither accomplish anything of substance. For the most part, Vladimir is the catalyst for change in plot (if there is one) and time, propelling things forward with philosophical musings and such.
Other times, Pozzo (Skye Whitcomb), a well-to-do slavemaster who traipses through the scene with his human horse Lucky (Christopher Mitchell), help Didi and Gogo (Vladimir and Estragon's pet names, respectively) to pass the time. And pass the time they do! With Pozzo's over-inflated ego and Lucky's broken-down and forlorn state of life, their spectacle not only allows the central characters to depart from the mundane; they distract the audience with an even bigger, more unsolvable puzzle than we had before. What are these two crazies doing intersecting the outskirts of life where Vladimir and Estragon currently reside? Are they from the same dimension? What lessons shall they learn from each other and is there anything for the audience to derive from their exchange? The fun continues as the bizarre compounds the bizarre, inciting theories and hypotheses, but quickly leading us either to sweet surrender or rejection.
Waiting for Godot juxtaposes several possible streams of thought without committing to any of them. There are religious, philosophical, political, sexual and other strains of ideas interwoven into the nearly three-hour production that will either excite you with possibility or frustrate you to no end. Beckett himself, when asked for explanation or interpretation of his play, refused to indulge, leaving it up to the theatregoer to decide. He purposefully and skillfully spun together a play that could mean a number of things or nothing at all. Beckett shines just enough light, as manifested by the light shining through the dirty, opaque and shredded sheet overlaying a portal hole onstage, on each meaning to encourage you to run with them. This portal, traversed by a boy (Carsten Kjaerulff) coming in and out to update Vladimir and Estragon on Godot's ETA, seems to favor a theory of different realms. Again, you decide.
As you turn this play over and over, trying to identify head from tail, the talent and hard work of the cast and crew is hard to ignore. Under Rosalie Grant's sharp direction, the quintet execute Beckett's difficult but rewarding work with aplomb. Taxing on the body and complex on the mind, the actors make physical comedy and choreographed movements look easy. It's not.
Love it or hate it, Waiting for Godot is memorable in its blend of light and dark. You may not get what you're waiting for, but hopefully, you'll get an extraordinary surprise.
Evening Star Productions' Waiting for Godot will be appearing through May 7th, 2017, at Sol Theatre located at 3333 N. Federal Highway, Boca Raton, FL 33431. Show times are Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays at 8pm and Sundays at 2:00pm. For tickets and information please call 561-447-8829 or visit www.eveningstarproductions.org.