Yes, I was lucky enough to have seen Waiting for Godot on Broadway! My fabulous fiancé (God, I love him) bought tickets and we saw the 8PM showing on June 27. It was really everything I wanted it to be and more! Honestly, I’ve never read it in English – having studied it in my 20th Century French Literature class in the Spring semester – but it’s just as fascinating. I think I’m a little relieved that Beckett not only wrote it in French but wrote his own English translation, because I’ve always been somewhat of a snob when it comes to reading things in their original Spanish or French (the two languages I can read besides English).
Anyway one thing you simply can’t get from just the reading experience is how FUNNY the play is. Obviously it’s still funny, but in reading it I think futility and frailty play a much larger role, with the humour being somewhat of an underscore to the darker parts. But seeing it onstage, one actually feels like it’s all right to laugh because you’re in an audience. Also there are SO many lines that I read as being somber and really sort of pathetic but the way the director/actors interpreted them was comical. For example:
[Estragon] (soudain furieux) Reconnais! Qu’est-ce qu’il y a à reconnaître? J’ai tiré ma roulure de vie au milieu des sables! Et tu veux que j’y voie des nuances! (Regard circulaire.) Regarde-moi cette saloperie! Je n’en ai jamais bougé!
(Les editions de minuit 79.)
(suddenly furious). Recognize! What is there to recognize? All my lousy life I’ve crawled about in the mud! And you talk to me about scenery! (Looking wildly about him.) Look at this muckheap! I’ve never stirred from it!
This bit was definitely comical, but I had read it to be really upsetting and more sarcastic than silly.
I loved Nathan Lane and Bill Irwin as Estragon and Vladimir but I really felt that John Goodman was amazing. He was a perfect Pozzo. And Lucky’s monologue (John Glover) was really just a privilege to watch. The most impressive thing ever.
Really, go see it! It’s only running until July 12 and so many nights have just a few seats left. Click here to get tickets!