Wilbury Theatre’s production of Samuel Becket’s classic “Waiting For Godot” is one of the most-produced plays in theatre history. While it has been misinterpreted and murdered by many amateur groups (I’ve seen my share), the Wilbury Theatre Group has got it right in this stunning professional production.
And how could they go wrong, with three of the best in the theatre community involved. Director Fred Sullivan Jr. has played both the roles of Gogo and Didi, and his signature is written all over the production.
Nothing happens, and yet there’s a lot going on.
Sullivan has emphasized the physical humor to lift up the haunting dialogue, and with Richard Donelly and Tom Gleadow he has two of the best in which to do it. You immediately care for them. You want them to find happiness. Check out the bios of these two equity actors in the program and you’ll get an idea of their experiences and talents. Together they give us incredible moments with their perfect timing.
Are these two pitiful characters merely passing the time, with “nothing to be done?”
Are they in the right place at the wrong time? Are they merely biding their time, waiting for a better tomorrow?
Over the years scholars and critics have offered their own interpretations of the stark dialogue and what it means.
Are they waiting for God? Are they just waiting for time to pass until they die?
Into their mundane existence come two characters, the blustery Pozzo (Brandon Whitehead) and his abused servant, Lucky (Zachary Gibb), who is anything but. The interactions among the four characters may seem a bit bizarre and disconnected at times, raising the question of life being controlled by chance.
Gogo and Didi wonder if they are wasting their time but figure that their time would be passed anyway. A child appears to tell them that Godot will not appear today but tomorrow. I still haven’t figured out what that all means.
Don’t dwell on what all this means while the play is in progress. Save that for another day. But do enjoy the spot-on performances by not only Donelly and Gleadow but also Whitehead and Gibb.
“Waiting for Godot” is at Wilbury Theatre Group in Olneyville through October 20. Call 400-7100 for reservations.