Waiting for God-ot or If the Boot Fits…

It was one thing to read Samuel Beckett’s humorous mid-twentieth century play, Waiting for Godot,  as a college student when I questioned the meaning of everything anyway. It’s another thing to see it on Broadway with a college classmate years later. 100 years post-graduation, we are mothers, wives, professionals… um, women approaching middle age. Or some might say, middle-aged. Oy. Fits in perfectly with the plays passage of time theme.

The overarching central idea, of course debatable since it is mostly a series of questions without answers so to each her own, offers fodder on life, death and the existence of god. The Roundabout Theater Company run at Studio 54 through July 12 is first rate with Bill Irwin, Nathan Lane, John Goodman and John Glover. Like (my) life, the play is at once funny, sad, entertaining and fully satisfying.

The characters seek to understand the relationships of one and other (note to Beckett, what role, if any did women play?) as they fit into a possible grander scheme of things. Little was left to surprise but everything was absurd or questions were answered with questions. Is that what life is all about?

No doubt, life can be challenging but it can be fun(ny). Get this: as the long-time friend and I sauntered uptown after Friday night’s performance, we came across an unclaimed pair of boots, obviously abandoned, or perhaps just waiting for the right soul set of soles. It would be hard not to think of them as scripted:

VLADIMIR:

Your boots, what are you doing with your boots?

ESTRAGON:

(turning to look at the boots). I’m leaving them there. (Pause.) Another will come, just as . . . as . . . as me, but with smaller feet, and they’ll make him happy.

Simple pleasures.

These boots were made for working

These boots were made for working

And with that, I owe great thanks to the husband of the longtime friend who surprised us with the tickets. He earned high points in the good deed department: selfless, thoughtful, generous. Thank you, H and T. We’ve come a long way…

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3 responses to “Waiting for God-ot or If the Boot Fits…

  1. I have such a love/hate relationship with that play after doing light/sound design for it in high school. I loved reading it, but it’s quite another beast to sit through as an audience member …

    But I’d love to see Bill Irwin in Godot. From seeing him in the local coffee shop, to watching him act in my ex-boss’ movies, to his live performances, he’s always a treat to encounter.

    • Uptown/Downtown

      I LOVE the play, loved it back when nothing mattered and love it more now that things do matter. Bill Irwin is great as Didi (Vladimir), Nathan Lane is great as Gogo (Estragon), John Glover is great as Lucky and John Goodman, good as Pozzo. Full disclosure, it’s hard for me to separate John Goodman from Roxanne, try as I might. But like college, that was years ago. Note to self, put it behind you… And the set design was good, costumes and don’t forget that the theater is what was Studio 54. Although I was not old enough, shocking, to benefit from its heyday, it still stands as an icon in my lifetime. xoxo

  2. Studio 54, the downfall of one side of my family. Also, the place where, 20-something years later (and transformed into a theater), I saw Cabaret. One relative’s downfall yields another’s night at the theater.

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