Monday, February 27, 2017

Review of Tympanic Theater Company's Waiting for Godot

Once upon a time I went to a show and it was called Waiting for Godot. It was written by Samuel Beckett and it was directed by Aaron Mays. It was about two friends whose names were Vladimir (Christopher Acevedo) and Estragon (Felipe Carrasco), and they are waiting for Godot. They don't really know why they are waiting for him, but they know they have to. It is about how they pass the time and who they meet when they are waiting for two days. It is about friendship, waiting, and helplessness. I think this is a very mind-boggling play. You have to be very creative to really enjoy it; you have to theorize a lot. It doesn't fall into a certain genre for me. The only other Beckett play I have seen is Endgame, which felt very different from this. I found it more disturbing and strange. I am always excited to see Beckett because my first experience was a parody called The Complete Lost Works of Samuel Beckett as Found in an Envelope (partially burned) in a Dustbin in Paris Labeled: "Never to be Performed. Never. Ever. EVER! Or I'll Sue! I'LL SUE FROM THE GRAVE!!, which was very funny. I thought this was a really intriguing show. My mom and I talked about it a lot and I think it really gets your mind going.

Vladimir, who gets called Didi, and Estragon, who gets called Gogo, meet two people while they are waiting for Godot; they are Pozzo (Christian Castro) and Lucky (Jordan Arredondo). The show implies that Pozzo is a political figure and he seems to have power over people during the apocalypse thing that is happening. I think it is interesting how they made him a political figure because a lot of political figures now are a lot like Pozzo. Some of them abuse their power. Lucky is actually much older than Pozzo and is working for him as basically his slave. Pozzo abuses his power over Lucky to scare him and make him do what he wants. I think Pozzo is a really terrifying character to the other characters in the show because they don't know who he is but he clearly has a lot of power over people. He makes Lucky do this strange dance and go into this academic paper monologue which kind of seems like it is about religious figures and then occasional bird noises. I thought that was very weird but very interesting to see what this person who never really speaks keeps in his mind. He hasn't said anything up until this point and he seems to have all these facts stored in his head. When Gogo and Didi see how Pozzo treats Lucky, they see what he can do to a person and that makes them a little more terrified of him.

In act two, near the end, there is a strange sequence where basically Didi and Gogo are swapping around different hats. For a good amount of the play the optimist is Didi and the pessimist is Gogo. Didi alaways thinks Godot will be here any minute and every time he is not. And Gogo thinks "he's never going to come, why don't we just leave?" And they start putting hats on each other's heads: Lucky's hat, Didi's hat, and Gogo's hat. (This must be a pretty terrible apocalypse because there is no fashion whatsoever.) I think it means in the final part of the play that they swap around who is the optimist and who is the pessimist. Didi basically loses hope that Godot will ever come. He's wearing Lucky's hat when he's doing this, and I think that means that he is weaker, so it is harder for him to be hopeful. And I think he might be able to see things more clearly because Lucky's hat makes you think. I would say that Beckett thinks pessimists are more likely to be right. From what I know of his work, he seems to be a pessimist.

I noticed that if you put the names Didi and Gogo together, you kind of get the name Godot. So maybe they are waiting for each other, which is adorable. They are kind of the cutest couple, but they don't really know it. I think that Gogo is actually in love with Didi, but Didi might not be in love with Gogo, but you can't be completely sure. It could be about friendship and not at all about romance. They have a close bond which you can see when Gogo is like "I'm leaving" but he comes back after a night. He clearly needs to be around Didi. They kind of don't want to leave each other's side. Even when they are talking about killing themselves, they want to do it together.

People who would like this show are people who like close relationships, swapping hats, and occasional bird noises. I thought this was a good show. I thought the actors were all very good, and I think the script is insanely weird, but I liked it for that. I think Waiting for Godot is a really interesting play to try and figure out.

Photos: Sergio Soltero

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