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January 17, 2014

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POST-GAZETTE,"JANUARY'17,2014 Page 7 Godoting for the Laughs THEATRE REVIEW: Waiting for Godot, by Bobby Franklin New York Waiting for Godot. L-R: Shuler Hensley, Patrick Stewart, Billy Crudup and Ian McKellen. (Photo by Joan Marcus, 2013) In the opening act of Samuel Beckett's "Waiting for Godot" we see Estragon tugging at his boot in an attempt to remove it. He tells his friend Vladimir that it hurts. Usually, when I see this scene I feel great sympathy for the character as most of us would, having at one time or another had a sore foot. But in this performance it is just plain funny, as is almost all of this staging of this great play. Beckett did write a lot of comedy into Godot, and laughter is intended, but there is also a darkness to be conveyed. I found that miss- ing here. Sir lan McKellen (Estragon) and Sir Patrick Stewart (Vladimir) are superb playing their parts in what I saw as a tribute to the great comics, among them, Laurel and Hardy, Abbott and Costello, Charlie Chaplin, Buster Keaton, and the Marx Brothers. The problem with this approach is that we miss out on much of the suffering experienced by the two old broken down friends. Yet, it is still a production very much worth seeing as Stewart and McKellen display tre- mendous comic timing. McKellen is positively Groucho when he uses a carrot as a cigar and Stewart pays homage to the English Music Halls in a brief song and dance num- ber. The hat exchanging bit is classic. Stewart playing an avuncular Vladimir conveys warmth towards his friend that is welcome and touching. Thouglh they may bicker, there is no doubt they care deeply for eac'.h other and look forward to sharing each other's company. What we don't get to deeply appreciate is their struggle to understand what life is about and how to manage the time they have been given. "We could contradict each other. That would pass the time." Things appear to be starting to deepen when Pozzo, played by Shuler Hensley who employs a southern accent that is a cross between Big Daddy and the father from the Darling family on the Andy Griffith show and the drooling Lucky, his abused carrier, superbly acted by Billy Crudup make their entrance. Estragon is at once afraid and fascinated by Pozzo and how he is master over Lucky. He loses his fear and you can see that he envies Pozzo's power and you are left with little doubt Estragon would also abuse this type of power if he had it. Billy Crudup is positively outstanding in the part of Lucky, drooling and contorting his body in ways that are painful and sad. It is a shame the depth of his role is lost in the laughter that has now infected the audience. When Pozzo and Lucky appear again in Act 2 they are truly pathetic creatures who have both been afflicted; Pozzo with blind- ness and Lucky with the loss of the power to speak. They are both in great misery and it bothered me not a little that the audience was still getting its share of.belly laughs watching them struggle. Perhaps this was by design to show us how hard it is to truly feel the suffering of others, but I doubt many in the theatre the afternoon I was there got that message. Time passes slowly or quickly in Godot. We are not quite sure which it is. The tree that is bare in Act 1 has begun to blossom in Act 2. Has a night passed or have months, years? The terrific but subtle lighting effects hint at change that could be dawn to dusk or season to season. But in the time that has passed leading up to the final moments of the play we have lost enough focus on the deeper questions about life and the human condition, that the soliloquy given by Vladimir where he asks. "Was I sleeping while the others suffered?" has lost much of its effect, and that is a shame as it is a beautiful speech that conveys so much of his anguish. As the curtain fell I looked around me and asked myself the same question. Waiting For Godot at the Cort Theatre, 138 West 48 th Street, New York. Playing in repertory with No Man's Land through March 30, 2014. Directed by Sean Mathias. Mrs. Murphy... As I See It Now that the country should be runI And Ruggiero Funeral Home on New Year has the public stands mute! Only Saratoga Street who gal- begun, let's see in Americal ... First Night lantly stepped to the plate how it began in was finally recognized in East and offered Ruggiero's burial our part of the woodsl Boston and surround- ing areas dug themselves out of a foot and a half of snow following a blizzard on Janu- ary 2 "a and a deep freeze with wind chills reaching a low of 4 degrees and under. But, for the most part, the plowing has been acceptable and people were able to get to work ... Inflation inched its way up with property tax increases ... The Mayor of Revere Dan Rizzo is making his argu- ment for a casino in Revere. It all sounds good, but no mention of lowering property taxes if a casino is approved ... Obamacare left millions of people in limbo and with- out health care after he announced his Obamacare site was working ... Colorado legalized marijuana and Cal- ifornia is about to follow. Reason politicians gave "to legalize marijuana" was their states needed the money. Marijuana is called the gate- way to advanced and dan- gerous drugs. It appears the people have lost their powers and have little or nothing to say in the affairs of state. Tell me America isn't going down the tubes! ... The ACLU (American Civil Liberties Union) (Democrats) are hav- ing their way on how the Boston. As part of the First Night festivities an ice sculp- ture was placed in front of the East Boston Health Cen- ter ... East Boston people are anticipating the waterfront development to be a huge asset for East Boston. How- ever, some folks fear that this new project may set a trend for higher priced rents. Most logical people realize that the new construction will balance out the com- munity and bring in a larger working-class of citi- zens ... The new state-of- the-art library is a great ad- dition to Bremen Street and East Boston. However, ac- cording to library users, the library doesn't have enough books. Reason: Library orga- nizers think that technology has taken over and you can get everything on line! Not yet my friends, people still enjoy reading a good book ... Now that Marty Walsh has been sworn in as the new mayor of Boston, a suggestionl If Walsh really wants to get to hear what the people want and need, the new mayor should set up a website for each neighbor- hood to better understand what their specific needs areI (That will never happen) ... Hats off to Joe Ruggiero of services to the family of the unfortunate East Boston woman who died in the Me- ridian Street Bridge acci- dent! Our condolences to the family of Aura Garcia ... In Revere: Rumors are The Market Basket in North Gate Shopping Center won't be opening any time soon. The dispute continues among the family, leaving the building vacant until a compromise can be made ... Mrs. Murphy strives to be "The Voice of the People," if you have a comment that you want to. share please let us know! ... Till next time! 81X SUGGESTIONS FOR 2014 ... by Tom Anderson i. The only person you can depend on for help is your- self 2. Make sure to follow your dreams and not the wealth 3. Eat right and exercise. Make sure you take care of your health. 4. Read good books be- cause it's not all about your body, but your mind as well. 5. Have some sort of belief system it doesn't always have to be heaven or hell. 6. Fall in love with some- one because love is the best feeling felt. THE PIRANDELLO LYCEUM SEEKS NOMINATIONS FOR I Migliori in Mens et Gesta I Migliori in Mens et Gesta, from the Latin meaning, "The Best in Thought and Actions," the Pirandello Lyceum honors Americans of Italian ancestry who have excelled in their chosen fields and have made a significant contribution to society. Boston Magazine has called the I Migliori Award the single most prestigious honor to be received by men and women of Italian descent. Nominees may serve in any area of busi- ness, education, the arts and sciences or public service. They should be men and women of the highest character whose contributions to society have been clearly demonstrated. At least one parent, grand- parent or ancestor of the nominee must have been born in Italy. The Pirandello Lyceum I Migliori Awards Dinner will be held Satur- day evening, March 29, 2014 at the Hyatt Harborside at Boston's Logan International Airport. Please fill out the nomination form found at, attach a resume of your nominee and mail to: Pirandello Lyceum, P.O. Box 565, East Boston, MA 02128 or by e-mail to the Pirandello Lyceum at Nominations must be received by January 31, 2014. Call for additional information 781-245-6536. Oceanside Campfire with Ranger Enzo Save the Harbor / Save The Bay Constitution Beach Reservation Recreational Program Oceanside Camp- fire with Ranger Enzo and the East Boston YMCA on Friday, February 14, 2014 5:30 pm to 7:00 pm. Take pleasure in an oceanside campfire, enjoy toasted marshmallows, good company and extra activi- ties. Meet at Constitution For information about advertislng in the Post-Gazette, call 617-227-8929. Beach Bathhouse. For more information call DCR Park Ranger Enzo at 781-485- 2803 ext. 109. Hope this inspires you to get out there! f LUCIA RISTORANTE & BAR Traditional Italian Cuisine 415 Hanover Street, Boston 617.367.2353 11 MountVernon Street, Winchester 781.729.0515 Fu.dio. I00oo.-,s fo,00 C)c,x, sio. Cl+risleninq B00+00ol Sho,.,.,+,. B.L, Show,+, +, Birihcl+t I Bereovemenl, Elc. Donato Frattaroli ,doFlal( I klciaboston 3,ii ,,. ,www.. Iuoiaritorante.corn '-+-- +-"+ +'..'..+  ' :.'?+"+ ' "/.+,'.'+ +" C ' ,, .... ,