Saturday, July 12, 2008

Broadway Preview: Waiting For Godot

Waiting For Godot

It's been over 51 years since Samuel Beckett's absurdist classic Waiting For Godot was last performed on Broadway. And to date, there have only been 65 actual performances on the Great White Way of one of the stage's more uniquely famous titles.

While the Seattle Repertory Company's upcoming revival of Waiting For Godot isn't even due in the Emerald City until January 2009, that hasn't stopped the producers from waiting to announce that they're officially waiting for a Broadway berth soon after.

Helmed by Tony Award-winning director Garry Hynes (The Beauty Queen of Leenane) and starring Tony Award winning actor Bill Irwin (Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?), the Seattle Repertory Theatre describes its new revival:
On its way to Broadway, this production features acclaimed film, television, and stage actor Bill Irwin under the direction of Tony-award-winning director Garry Hynes. Considered by many to be the most significant English language play of the 20th century, this absurdist comedy places two Charlie Chaplin-like tramps in the middle of nowhere to await the mysterious Godot. Don’t miss the chance to see this vaudevillian masterpiece.
First presented on Broadway in 59-performance run (April 19-June 9, 1956) at the John Golden Theatre, Herbert Berghof directed Bert Lahr, E. G. Marshall, Alvin Epstein (who appeared in the recent Brooklyn Academy of Music revival of Beckett's Endgame), Kurt Kasznar and Luchino Solito de Solis.

The very next year, Berghof assumed the helm once again for its one and only revival at the Ethel Barrymore Theatre. Lasting a mere 6 performances, the 1957 run had a twist. It included a cast that was entirely black, including Bert Chamberlain, Geoffrey Holder, Earle Hyman, Rex Ingram and Mantan Moreland.

Now, all these years later, Waiting For Godot is back. Will it actually be worth the wait?

This is Steve On Broadway (SOB).

Related Stories:
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Broadway Preview: Dividing The Estate (July 10, 2008)
Broadway Preview: 13 (July 9, 2008)
Broadway Preview: Speed-The-Plow (July 8, 2008)
Broadway Preview: Billy Elliot - The Musical (July 7, 2008)
Broadway Preview: Godspell (July 6, 2008)
Broadway Preview: All My Sons (July 5, 2008)
Broadway Preview: A Man For All Seasons (July 3, 2008)
Broadway Preview: To Be Or Not To Be (July 2, 2008)
Broadway Preview: The Seagull (July 1, 2008)
Broadway Preview: Equus (June 30, 2008)
Broadway Preview: A Tale Of Two Cities (June 28, 2008)
Broadway Preview: for colored girls who have considered suicide when the rainbow is enuf (June 25, 2008)
Broadway Preview: [title of show] (June 24, 2008)
Broadway: What's Next (June 20, 2008)
Broadway Estate Planning (March 17, 2008)

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At 12 July, 2008, Blogger Esther said...

Hey Steve,
I'm hoping it'll be worth the wait! For some reason I can no longer recall, I became very interested in the theatre of the absurd in high school. I read the play years ago, but I've never seen it performed. I like the idea that it's a little bit incomprehensible, and open to so many interpretations. Or maybe it doesn't mean much of anything. That's the beauty!

I think with the right cast, it could be immensely entertaining, although like you said, it doesn't have a great track record on Broadway. I know they're not big enough names, and maybe I'm just typecasting them, but I wonder how Arnie Burton and Cliff Saunders from "The 39 Steps" would be?

At 13 July, 2008, Blogger Steve On Broadway (SOB) said...

Esther, You've inspired me. I think I may start a new feature where I ask my readers to stunt cast a show with their favorite and/or top acting choices.

At 13 July, 2008, Blogger Aaron Riccio said...

With Bill Irwin in it, I certainly hope it makes it to Broadway. Ever since seeing him in "Fool Moon" and then actually learning to appreciate his craft at the Signature Theater, I've been drawn to any production he's been in. Doesn't hurt that two of those were big Albee plays.

At 13 July, 2008, Blogger Steve On Broadway (SOB) said...

Aaron, Bill Irwin is one of those gems in the theatre who dazzles no matter the role. He also gets extra bonus points for being in my audience for Passing Strange, too.


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