BWW Review: HAT TRICK THEATRE PRESENTS AN EXISTENTIAL EXPERIENCE at Murray Theatre At Ruth Eckerd Hall

BWW Review: HAT TRICK THEATRE PRESENTS AN EXISTENTIAL EXPERIENCE  at Murray Theatre At Ruth Eckerd Hall
Photo by Hat Trick Theatre

The premise of Waiting for Godot was simple. Two bums in a desolate landscape. A tree. Odd visitors. The lack of an over-dressed stage, sans an incredible screen for setting sun and luminous moon, made all eyes affixed to the talented actors.

A friend said you will either love it or hate it. Truthfully, a day has passed and I'm still not sure how I feel about Beckett's existential writing, though the acting was nothing short of sublime.

The two tramps Didi (Brian Shea) and Gogo (Jack Holloway) reminded me of Nathan Lane and Seth Rogen/John Goodman combo and played expertly off each other. Yet, I was ill-prepared for Samuel Beckett's funny, sad, long piece about waiting for someone who never arrives.

Didi and Gogo waited patiently by a dying tree for a man named Godot. They've never met him and didn't know when he was coming, but just know their circumstances in life would improve once he did and they would be saved.

During the wait, like an old married couple, they bantered, entertained one another, argued, discussed separating, how to hang themselves from the dying tree, complained about the meaningless repetition of day in, day out waiting... yet they continued to wait, trusting Godot would eventually come.

With the arrival of Pozzo (Stephen Fisher) and his ill-treated servant Lucky (Paul McColgan), they became both victim and fellow tormentor. Pozzo was an exemplary pompous ringmaster with Lucky, his pet.

I have to do a special call out for the servant's make-up. When I saw the actor's photo in the playbill, the hair and makeup in this show was transformative. I expected him to be a man in his 60s.

Lucky's "thinking" scene made my head spin.

I can only imagine how many bruises occurred during the many pratfalls.

My favorite scenes in the production used hats. Whether it was Didi, Gogo and Pozzo exchanging hats, Lucky losing his to become a pontificator, or Gogo flipping it on to his head, the choreography was wonderful.

Honestly, the four played together like a well-oiled machine. Sometimes it was only a facial expression, a slump of the shoulders or a sigh that said more than words ever could.

During the show, a boy, fearfully and perfectly played Jonah Mastro, arrived twice to tell them - again - that Godot would not be coming, so they returned the next day, mainly forgetting what happened the day before - and repeating the process.

If you love Beckett, see this show. If don't know Beckett, see this show just so you can see the incredible actors that graced that simple stage.

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From This Author Deborah Bostock-Kelley

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