Arsenic and Old Lace
by Joseph Kesselring
was a great success!
Lenore Ferber as Aunt Abby
Alene Blomquist as Aunt Martha
Jeff Stringer as Mortimer
Mouse Courtois as Elaine
Gary Regal as Teddy
Christopher Potter as Reverend Harper
Larry Rusinsky as Jonathan
Paul Bianchi as Einstein
David Widmayer as O'Hara
Andy Jentzen as Witherspoon
Steven R. White as Officer Klein
Robert Seeman as Officer Brophy
Timothy Brayman as Lieutenant Rooney
Andrew Hoag as Mr. Gibbs
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Waiting For Godot by Samuel Beckett*
...is over. So sad, nothing to be done.
Thanks to all the actors, volunteers, people who came to see it. We have kept our appointment. How many people can say that?
Featuring Steve Elliott as Estragon, Larry Rusinsky as Vladimir,Tom Underwood as Pozzo, Peter Knox as Lucky, and Graeme Taylor as the Boy.
Steve Elliott as Estragon and Larry Rusinsky as Vladimir in Waiting For Godot.
Photos by Tim Henning
Two men, two companions, shabby in dress, having perhaps seen more genteel times, waiting for a third, find themselves caught in the fabric, somewhere between the thread of time and the stitching of place. The thread of tragedy and the stitching of comedy. The thread of memory and the stitching of ... Great Caesar's Ghost! What are they caught up in??
Since it's debut in the late 40s, early 50s, Waiting For Godot has been intriguing, mystifying, entertaining, irritating, elevating and enthralling audiences around the world. Is it a tragedy? Is it a comedy? The author, Samuel Beckett labelled it both, and so it is, a work that exploded what theatre was supposed to be, leaving in the aftermath fresh ground for everything new that came after.
The two companions, Vladimir and Estragon, banter and cajole, provoke and soothe, firing off words like weapons in a determined and often impetuous assault on meaninglessness. Partially inspired by Beckett's fondness for the music hall comedians and film stars of the 20s, they draw us into their existential two-man act, like Laurel and Hardy on acid. They make us laugh (that's the comedy part) and in the aching moments between the laughs, we suddenly see ourselves, trapped, waiting for something, almost anything to really happen, but fated by our very nature not to be able to escape (that's the tragedy part), and so we keep the ball in the air, keep things going, spin the plates, poke each other in the eye, wrestle, challenge, argue, change our shoes, pee in the bushes, just in case in doing so we stumble across some meaning, something to hold on to. At least we're doing something. As David Letterman might say, "That's definitely something." Right?
And then, just as we have it in our hands, that magical elemental glowingly profound thing, it blows up like a lit bomb in the face of Wile E. Coyote. And that, tragic as it may seem to the Coyote, you gotta admit, is also pretty funny.
Don't worry, though, there are no bombs in this production. Only the funniest show about nothing since Seinfeld. Well, actually,a long time before Seinfeld. And a long time after. And I hear Godot might put in a special appearance to do the Elaine dance.
Quotes about the play:
Don't expect this column to explain Samuel Beckett's "Waiting for Godot," which was acted at the John Golden last evening. It is a mystery wrapped in an enigma.
But you can expect witness to the strange power this drama has to convey the impression of some melancholy truths about the hopeless destiny of the human race. Mr. Beckett is an Irish writer who has lived in Paris for years, and once served as secretary to James Joyce.
Since "Waiting for Godot" has no simple meaning, one seizes on Mr. Beckett's experience of two worlds to account for his style and point of view. The point of view suggests Sartre--bleak, dark, disgusted. The style suggests Joyce--pungent and fabulous. Put the two together and you have some notion of Mr. Beckett's acrid cartoon of the story of mankind.
-Brooks Atkinson (From original review of New York production in New York Times, 1954)
The farther he goes the more good it does me. I don’t want philosophies, tracts, dogmas, creeds, ways out, truths, answers, nothing from the bargain basement. He is the most courageous, remorseless writer going and the more he grinds my nose in the shit the more I am grateful to him.
He’s not f---ing me about, he’s not leading me up any garden path, he’s not slipping me a wink, he’s not flogging me a remedy or a path or a revelation or a basinful of breadcrumbs, he’s not selling me anything I don’t want to buy — he doesn’t give a bollock whether I buy or not — he hasn’t got his hand over his heart. Well, I’ll buy his goods, hook, line and sinker, because he leaves no stone unturned and no maggot lonely. He brings forth a body of beauty.
His work is beautiful.
- Harold Pinter (As quoted on Samuel-Beckett.net)
* Produced by special arrangement with Dramatists Play Service.
A man walks into a bar...
There is always a Teller of The Tall Tale at the bar. Inside the walls of the soon to be demolished Yankee Tavern, we meet a grad student, whose father died the day after 9/11; his father’s best friend, who weaves conspiracy theories together in an intoxicating way--on the JFK assassination, the fake moon landing, and, finally, the real story of 9/11.
All seems well until a mysterious stranger comes into the bar who has some information no one else does. Surprising revelations continue to emerge in this comic thriller in which a young couple’s future seems connected inexplicably to shadowy events around the national tragedy of 9/11.
Are conspiracy theories just for fun or do they serve a larger purpose? There are some theories that tend to penetrate our rational firewall and capture our imagination.
Is it really possible that Building 7 was the first skyscraper in history to collapse because it was on fire? Why did Larry Silverstein take out a $3.5 billion insurance policy on the Towers only 2 months before the attacks? Does jet fuel burn at a temperature high enough to melt steel?
A conspiracy theory raises the status of the Teller. The Teller shares a secret and, in the process your status as a Listener is ennobled. Stories bind us in a cunning way.
So pull up a chair, buy a ticket. We’ve got a few stories to share with you.