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Waiting for Godot

By Sarah Hepola
Austin Chronicle

This Shirk Workers Onion production is a surprisingly faithful and funny version of perhaps the most influential play of post-war theatre. Written in 1953, Beckett's Waiting for Godot is about uncertainty the painful anxiety that builds only to be quashed by disappointment. And in illustrating this, director Anna Krejci is unafraid to let the moments of silence stretch out, so that they grow uncomfortably tense, almost unbearably so. Accordingly, the production is sometimes tedious, as you might expect in any play whose action is the absolute absence of action. But it is also very funny, a fact which Krejci and her actors milk for all its worth with their slapstick antics and generously broad comedy.

The most welcome aspect of the production, though, is the surprising performance of R. Guilford Adams as Estragon. Adams proves himself not only an impressively adroit physical comedian, but an actor able to think on his feet, who can toss off an improvised aside as if doing so were effortless.

In contrast, Todd Lowe's Vladimir appears more labored. A talented chameleon of an actor, Lowe seems less at ease in a role that calls for him to play the straight man. Nonetheless, all the actors involved seem to throw themselves into this show body and soul, and the result is a production worthy of more than a passing recommendation.

FINAL WEEKEND! Through Apr 25, Sat-Sun, 7:30pm, Club DeVille, Eighth & Red River. $7.99 (students w/ ID, $5.99). 928-3833.

Written in 1999

©2007 Guilford Adams. All rights reserved.