Wednesday, April 30, 2008

“You’re on Earth, man!"

"There’s no cure for that.”

Went to see BAM’s Endgame last night at the old Majestic on Fulton. It was the first Beckett I’ve ever seen. Always figured I would like Sammy – I mean, that great hair, that face, and one of my favorite quotes: “We spend our life trying to bring together in the same instant a ray of sunshine and a free bench” – and I did. It was very much fun: the comedy of tragedy, the humor in unhappiness, the last people on an extinguished earth. What could be funnier? (Consider, after all, your other option.) John Turturro is Hamm, king, perhaps, of nothing now, and goes a very fine job, obviously enjoying himself. He recovered nicely from accidentally throwing back the chair he is supposed to be immobilized in. Stage-hands had to come on to remove the chair, and I swear I could hear a power tool in the distance as they made repairs. Max Casella is Clov, the gimpy servant, a perfect foil. Elaine Stritch plays Hamm’s mother, Nell, who like the father Nagg (a very good Alvin Epstein, who’s evidently been doing Beckett for 50-plus years), has been swept into the garbage bins of history; they live in garbage cans and seem to have lost their legs. As I said, it was quite enjoyable. “Me pap! Me pap!”
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There’s a brand new triangular condotower next to the Majestic, a lux apts bldg that looks like shit up close. I couldn’t believe how old and tawdry the concrete looked already. Who are the jackasses who spend hundreds of thousands to millions for such junk?

3 comments:

Lorianne said...

Aren't condotowers the 21st century, postmodernist version of Nagg & Nell's rubbish bins?

I've read & taught Endgame, but I've never seen a performance. It sounds like a wondrously grim time.

Gerry Gomez Pearlberg said...

I'm going to see this next week--Stritch in Beckett. How could it get any better than that?

Thew said...

Lorianne: Yes! You are so right about the rubbish bins. Little do they know, with their big look-at-me windows, that they are down deep in the hole.

GGP: Watch out for the loose caster on that chair.