Thursday, November 20, 2014
FAIRFIELD-SUISUN, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

Bay Area Stage’s ‘Waiting for Godot’ worth the wait

16 waiting godot 1

Kenn Stevens rehearses a scene from "Waiting for Godot" at the Vallejo Naval and Historical Museum, Aug. 6. (Aaron Rosenblatt/Daily Republic)

By
From page A7 | August 16, 2014 |

VALLEJO — Usually when writing a review of a local theatrical production, I do my best not to divulge any specific plot points so as not to ruin it for theatergoers who may go and experience a particular work for the first time. That will not be a problem discussing Bay Area Stage’s current production, Samuel Beckett’s 1953 absurdist play “Waiting for Godot.”

It has been called a play about nothing, but much like “Seinfeld” that was called a TV show about nothing, “Waiting for Godot” is about . . . well . . . something. It is just hard to describe. Which ultimately is kind of the point.

I absolutely enjoy watching theatrical performances at the Vallejo Naval and Historical Museum. I first thought it was kind of an odd place to see a show, until I went there to see Bay Area Stages’s “The Pirates of Penzanace” last year. That show worked well there as the nautical atmosphere added ambiance, and for the current play, which calls for an extremely minimalist set, it is perfect.

I was all set to go review this show when it originally was supposed to run in April, but they unfortunately had an actor drop out at the last minute. So was it worth the wait?

I would say a hesitant yes. The reason I hesitate is because this is the kind of play that divides people into Team Hate It or Team Love It. Perhaps that is not accurate in my case because actually what I loved about it was the fact that Bay Area Stage took it on, but more about that later. You have to wait.

So basically, “Waiting for Godot” is about two guys waiting for some other guy named Godot and what happens or rather, what doesn’t happen, while they wait. While I had heard of the show, I was a first-timer and there were parts that had me scratching my head, parts that had me laughing out loud and parts that made me think and ponder what I had seen several days later.

Director Clinton Vidal, whose acting I have enjoyed in a number of Benicia Old Town Theatre Group shows, molded the five members of the cast into a cohesive whole.

Kenn Stevens as Estragon and Chuck Schilling as Vladimir played off of each other quite nicely. The challenges to an actor of pulling off such an unusual play where not much happens are enormous.

Jeff Lowe was delightfully wicked/weird as the explosive Pozzo. Lowe added yet another character to the list of ones I have been blessed to see him bring to life under the spotlights, including Ebenezer Scrooge, Sweeney Todd and Miguel de Cervantes/Don Quixote.

James Adams as Lucky had probably the most difficult part to play – going from basically a beast of burden to yammering gibberish when given his thinking hat – and he proved himself equal to the challenge.

Travis Ross rounded out the cast as “boy.” His future in theater appears bright as he was engaging, real and in the moment.

“Waiting for Godot” has been debated and discussed for 60 years and within its absurdist framework, weighty topics like religion, suffering and humanitarianism are explored all while challenging/changing accepted norms of theater itself.

As I mentioned earlier, the thing that I absolutely love about the show (thank you for waiting) is that Bay Area Stage took on the challenge of such a difficult piece. Everyone knows that if you want to run a successful theater company in this economy, you absolutely have to do the crowd-pleasers and Bay Area Stage excels at that.

But the 5-year-old company has also successfully tackled weighty shows in the past that include “Buried Child,” “True West” and “Kiss of the Spider Woman.” I hope they continue to dig deeper and keep audiences not only entertained, but thinking.

Reach Fairfield writer Tony Wade at toekneeweighed@gmail.com.

‘Waiting for Godot’

  • 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday, Aug. 22-23
  • 2 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 24
  • Vallejo Naval and Historical Museum, 734 Marin St.
  • 649-1053
  • Bay Area Stage Productions
  • www.bayareastage.org
  • three stars out of four
Tony Wade

Tony Wade

Tony Wade is the slightly older yet infinitely more handsome brother of long-time DR columnist Kelvin Wade
LEAVE A COMMENT

Discussion | No comments

The Daily Republic does not necessarily condone the comments here, nor does it review every post. Read our full policy

.

Solano News

 
Solano cheerleaders travel to NYC for holiday parade

By Susan Winlow | From Page: A1 | Gallery

Let’s honor veterans throughout year

By Mayrene Bates | From Page: A2

 
 
Suisun City Hall critic takes town to task over residential ‘junkyard’

By Ian Thompson | From Page: A3Comments are off for this post

 
Lawyers outline strategy in Fairfield homicide case

By Jess Sullivan | From Page: A3

 
NAACP chapter to conduct officer elections

By Susan Winlow | From Page: A4

 
 
Sport Chalet offers underwater photos with Santa

By Susan Hiland | From Page: B5

Nut Tree to donate vintage barn doors to ReStore

By Susan Winlow | From Page: B5

 
Weather for Nov. 20, 2014

By Daily Republic | From Page: B10

Fairfield police log: Nov. 18, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A10

 
Suisun City police log: Nov. 18, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A10, 5 Comments

.

US / World

Analyst: No ‘fiscal cliff’ when tax hikes end

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

 
Tuition hikes tentatively approved in California

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1, 1 Comment

Police: Gunman killed after shooting at FSU

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
Obama to announce immigration action Thursday

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1, 32 Comments

Cuban couple keeps rodents called hutias as pets

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2, 1 Comment

 
Self-driving cars: safer, but what of their morals

By The Associated Press | From Page: A4, 2 Comments

5 children in San Jose home with barricade man

By The Associated Press | From Page: A4

 
Berkeley OKs plan for gas-pump climate change labels

By The Associated Press | From Page: A4

First of 3 storms douses fields, delays flights

By The Associated Press | From Page: A4

 
Right-to-die advocate’s video out after death

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5, 4 Comments

Early statin use may give long-term heart benefits

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

 
Health system reveals hospital gown to cover rears

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5, 1 Comment

Police: Man crawled into sunken car, saved baby

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5, 3 Comments

 
CDC chief drops worst-case Ebola estimate

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

Vets’ moms to Congress: Boost suicide prevention

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5, 1 Comment

 
Buffalo area hit with epic snow – with more coming

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5, 1 Comment

US airstrike hits al-Qaida-held town in Syria

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

 
Hotel charges couple for negative review of it

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

New US ambassador has tough job in Moscow

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

 
Military leader becomes Burkina Faso prime minster

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6, 1 Comment

CERN scientists discover 2 new subatomic particles

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

 
Kerry in diplomatic overdrive on Iran nuclear deal

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

N. Korea threatens to beef up military capability

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

 
Colombian girl’s dad had her swallow cocaine caps

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6, 1 Comment

New Kurdish offensive targets Islamic State group

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

 
.

Opinion

 
Gambling on Proposition 47

By Kelvin Wade | From Page: A7, 2 Comments

How and why the GOP won

By Jennifer Rubin | From Page: A7, 11 Comments

 
.

Living

Today in History: Nov. 20, 2014

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

 
Community Calendar: Nov. 20, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A2

My lady’s mother doesn’t like me and wants me to move out

By Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar | From Page: A9

 
Horoscopes: Nov. 20, 2014

By Holiday Mathis | From Page: A9

.

Entertainment

TVGrid

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Library honoring Billy Joel with pop music prize

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

Motown singer Jimmy Ruffin dies at age 78

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

 
Multiple fractures for Bono in NY bicycle accident

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

Auction of Presley items set for January

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

 
.

Sports

 
Brooks apologizes to 49ers for harsh words

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

Chiefs look to avoid letdown vs. winless Raiders

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

 
Carrie, Rogers out for Raiders with injuries

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

Butler and A’s finalize $30 million, 3-year deal

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

 
Rudy Gay happy to be with Sacramento Kings

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Union, NFL at odds over personal conduct policy

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
NBA suspends Hornets’ Jeffery Taylor 24 games

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Stanton signs record $325M deal at news conference

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Nothing settled going into LPGA Tour finale

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Collins, NBA’s 1st openly gay player, to retire

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

NFL fines Lynch $50,000 for not speaking to media

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
NASCAR’s Kurt Busch meets with investigators

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

.

Business

Showdown looms between US gov’t, air bag maker

By The Associated Press | From Page: B5

 
Obama picks NTSB member as new auto safety chief

By The Associated Press | From Page: B5

JetBlue to add bag fees on cheapest tickets

By The Associated Press | From Page: B5, 1 Comment

 
US stocks drift lower after release of Fed minutes

By The Associated Press | From Page: B5

Automakers debut key models at L.A. Auto Show

By The Associated Press | From Page: B5

 
Yahoo replaces Google as Firefox’s default search

By The Associated Press | From Page: B5

.

Obituaries

.

Comics

Get Fuzzy

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Baby Blues

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Zits

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Rose is Rose

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Pickles

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
For Better or Worse

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Blondie

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Frank and Ernest

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Peanuts

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Baldo

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Wizard of Id

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Garfield

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Sally Forth

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
B.C.

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Dilbert

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Beetle Bailey

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Bridge

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

 
Word Sleuth

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

Sudoku

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

 
Crossword

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

Cryptoquote

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9