Supporting the Arts in Western Massachusetts and Beyond

August 25, 2022

REVIEW: Barrington Stage Company, "Waiting for Godot:

Barrington Stage Company, Pittsfield, MA
Through September 4
By Jarice Hanson

Photo by Daniel Rader
Watching “Waiting for Godot” at the Barrington Stage Company’s St. Germain Stage is an
opportunity to watch a master class in acting. In this exquisitely realized production of Samuel Beckett’s most well-known absurdist play, the essence of Shakespearean clowning and allusions to the artistry of mime come together to interpret the playwright’s vision of existential ambiguity. This production shows how theatrical magic results from talent, skill, and intelligence. Humor is emphasized, rather than pathos, and watching the physical antics of the actors is a true pleasure.

Critical to good theater is something that is often forgotten in today’s world of over-amplified sound, and that is the importance of the author’s words. In this production every word is clearly articulated, clean, and the actors’ and playwright’s intentions clear. This is a first-rate production with actors who are totally committed to the text and to giving the audience not only something to think about, but also, something to stimulate thought and lively conversation.

There are not enough kudos to heap on the cast of four principal players, Mark H. Dold (Vladimir, or “Didi”), Kevin Isola (Estragon, or “GoGo”), Christopher Innvar (Pozzo), and Max Wolkowitz (Lucky). Young Maximus Holey (A Boy) is an able messenger who completes the quintet of performers, but the four principles attack their roles with commitment and vaudevillian skill that keeps this production lively and heart-felt.  Director Joe Calarco peppers this production with his own insightful skill in decoding Beckett, and together the team presents the audience with a classic vibrant experience that allows each audience member to interpret the rich, dense text.

Luciana Stecconi’s creative scenic design becomes yet another character in the passage of time, and Debra Kim Sivigny’s excellent costumes enhance a vaudevillian reference that has become part of the classic interpretation of this play.  

This production shows that theater of the absurd, when done well, can be a masterpiece of theatrical skill and interpretation. Every actor should see this production, and anyone who might fear that Beckett is too dense to be understood should give this production the attention it deserves. It might just change a few minds about theater, performance art, and our own humanity at a time in history in which daily life itself, can seem absurd.