Friends how many of us have them. Friends, ones you can depend on, friends. The words come from an R&B song from a group called Whodini that ask the question about the importance of friends. Waiting for Godot is a play where two friends on a pathway that seems to lead to nowhere, wait for the arrival of the mysterious Godot. As they wait, they decide to talk about life, and while waiting, they occupy their time discussing a myriad of topics.
Samuel Beckett brings to the stage two charismatic characters, Vladimir (Didi) and Estragon (Gogo), in Chicago Shakespeare’s “Waiting for Godot,” which is Beckett’s translated from his original French play, En attendant Godot.
The play opens with two disheveled friends, Vladimir (Marty Rea) who seems metaphysical and his perplexed partner Estragon. Estragon (Aaron Monaghan), who is sitting on a boulder can’t seem to be able to remove his boots from his aching feet. The two men then begin their day contemplating and deliberating about the complexities of life as they wait for Godot. The men never seem to know when or where this mysterious character would be coming but their primary focus of waiting for him was something that could change the course of their lives. The endless conversations that occupy their time seem unproductive in their quest to meet Godot but necessary to their sanity. When Estragon wants to leave, which repeatedly happens throughout the play; Vladimir reminds him they must stay because they are still waiting for an unspecified person called Godot.
Waiting for Godot is a somewhat disturbing yet realistic story about what happens to a soul that comes into this world and how unfortunate life can be for those seeking to find joy. As constant as the earth rotates, life for these men seem to be in a perpetual state as they wait for Godot to quantify their existence. There is one portion of the play that powerfully reminds us all of the need to exist and be known as an existing lifeforce, recognized by someone, anything when Didi tells a young servant to tell Godot that you saw me. Tell him!!!, as the servant slowing disappears.
Beckett brings levity to the play with humorous décor between the two men which brings laughter and a sense of awareness to their plight. Rea and Monaghan are actual stage actors from Ireland, and another actor joins them from their homeland in Rory Nolan who plays Pozzo; along with Garrett Lombard as Lucky, who has a rope around his neck. Lombard, who is treated like a slave, however, once he opened his mouth, to think as it’s called, he speaks like one of the great theological philosophers.
We must admit we found ourselves a little bewildered while watching this play and not as enthralled as other, some seasoned theater attendees, however, Waiting for Godot seem to bring more than a few people off their feet with applauses; so maybe it was something we missed as we waited in Godot. Views range from highly to somewhat recommend, and we tend to fall in the middle.
We recommend Waiting For Godot at Chicago Shakespeare but suggest a little history lesson if you are not familiar with this play so you can get a more authentic understanding before you see it.
The cast Include:
Garrett Lombard (Lucky)
Aaron Monaghan (Estragon)
Rory Nolan (Pozzo)
Marty Rea (Vladimir)
Zachary Scott Fewkes (Boy)
CHICAGO SHAKESPEARE THEATER
IRELAND DRUID THEATRE COMPANY
WAITING FOR GODOT,
Directed By GARRY HYNES
By: SAMUEL BECKETT
May 23 - June 3, 2018
Filed under: ChicagoNow