December 26, 1989 |
Nobel Prize-winning author Samuel Beckett, who created a world of everlasting despair and left theatergoers "Waiting for Godot," died at age 83 of respiratory failure and was buried today, his publisher said. The playwright, poet and novelist whose work depicted death and decay as mankind's sole and inescapable destiny, was buried this morning at Montparnasse Cemetery in a private ceremony, said publisher Jerome Linden. The playwright died Friday in Paris, Linden said. The Irish-born author of "Godot" and "Endgame" rejected the redeeming optimism that might have made him more accessible to a mass audience and gained him earlier recognition as one of the century's greatest writers.
December 27, 1989 |
Samuel Beckett, the Nobel Prize-winning writer whose bleak outlook and spare style revolutionized the course of 20th-century literature, died of respiratory failure on Friday in a Paris nursing home. His death, at the age of 83, was not announced until yesterday, when he was buried in secrecy at Montparnasse Cemetery. A spokesman for Editions de Minuit, Mr. Beckett's French publishing house, said the death of the Dublin-born dramatist had been kept quiet to respect his lifelong desire for privacy.
August 31, 1996 |
The young woman in the vintage formal gown clutches the prison bars and begins to speak: "If I said, There's a way out there, there's a way out somewhere, the rest would come. What am I waiting for then, to say it? To believe it? And what does that mean, the rest? Shall I answer, try to answer, or go on as though I had asked nothing? I don't know . . . " In the cell behind her, a man laboriously climbs an iron ladder. Two other men, seated on a catwalk, dangle telephones into the cell.
May 21, 1991 |
Novel Stages artistic director David Bassuk has taken great pains to publicly explain that his company's production of "Waiting for Godot," which opened last night at Stage III of Temple University Center City, is the first area staging of the Samuel Beckett play to draw on Beckett's notes from his own direction of the play in 1975. The changes, according to Bassuk, "illuminate the underlying humor and dramatic tension" of the play and make evident its "original shape. " As purely a witness and not in any case more than a casual admirer of Beckett's work, I'll take the director's word for it. What I did notice was that for the first time ever, a performance of "Godot" did not stupefy my hindquarters.
October 21, 1986 |
Theatergoers may not always understand what the characters are saying in Samuel Beckett's oblique, abstract play Waiting for Godot, but for a production to be successful, the audience must be made to feel the situation of the characters Estragon and Vladimir. This classic work of the modern theater is very much a play of mood. A sense of emptiness, of the futility of speech and activity in the face of a disinterested universe, should surround Beckett's tramps. And that sense of cosmic despair should be palpable, to contrast sharply with the spirit of the characters.
October 14, 2006 |
Modern life got you down? Are your heart and soul bound in existential knots? Is your life an absurdist pockmark? Then stay away from the Gate Theatre of Dublin's magnificent production of Waiting for Godot - you'll only get worse. For the rest of us, it's sheer joy. Director Walter D. Asmus stages Samuel Beckett's masterpiece with every regard due its fragile characters and its comic dimensions. The production, which runs through tomorrow afternoon as part of the Penn Presents series at the Annenberg, elicits lots of gentle laughter.
November 8, 1994 |
The new Lantern Theater Company, which intends to perform classical works, is starting life with a sound, if unexceptional, production of Samuel Beckett's modern classic Waiting for Godot. Director Charles McMahon, who is also artistic director of the new theater and an actor in the production, presents a busy, active Godot, a show that revels in the vaudeville clowning among and comic interaction between the characters. By emphasizing the theatricality of the piece, McMahon lets the philosophical implications of this deliberately ambiguous work fall where they may. It's an approach of which Beckett, who refused to be drawn into discussions of the meaning of the play, would approve and that the audience at the opening performance Friday at the Walnut Street Theatre's Studio 3 appeared to enjoy.
October 20, 2001 |
The play opens with two masked figures hooded in monk's cowls, white crosses emblazoned on their chests, wielding sticks and beating a shabbily dressed man. The program says this is Waiting for Godot, but if you don't recall that scene as the beginning of Samuel Beckett's masterwork, your memory isn't failing you. It's not in the play. Nor should it be. There are other things, principally incidental music, that director Tom Bazar has interjected into his production for Hunger Theater at Walnut Street Theatre's Studio 5. They also detract from rather than enhance the play.
May 22, 1991 |
If Waiting for Godot isn't the King Lear of our time - the play that can never be staged with total success but that everyone wants to attempt anyway - it's surely among the top contenders. The latest company to have a whack at it is Novel Stages, which opened its version Monday night at Stage III. And if this production, too, falls considerably short of perfection, enough of the play emerges intact to warrant a theatergoer's attention. Whether that's to the credit of Novel Stages or to the indestructibility of Samuel Beckett's baggy-pants allegory is a question that, like the identity of the perennially tardy Godot, is probably unanswerable.
January 16, 2008 |
Anyone who has ever felt stuck in an impossible situation (a marriage, a job, a town, a life - and who has not?) will identify easily with Samuel Beckett's courageously cheerful heroine in Happy Days, who is, quite literally, stuck. Fiona Shaw, in a major production transferred from London, is singing Winnie's song at Brooklyn Academy of Music with fierce power. The initial soundscape is almost as unsettling as the landscape: harsh, loud white noise mingled with random melodic music in a wrecked world - rocks, hunks of concrete, rubble - within the magnificent wreck of the Harvey Theatre, BAM's crumbling signature venue.