The Square Circuit

Academia, parenthood, living in a bankrupt city, and what I read in the process.

Monday, August 28, 2006

Beckett's ENDGAME at PICT

On our first "date" in a long time--since we were a three-person family--we went out to dinner at Kaya and then saw Beckett's ENDGAME at Pittsburgh Irish and Classical Theatre. Kaya was surprisingly good, and with a cool Strip District location (it'd be fun to have lunch there on a Saturday). The appetizers--we had crab cakes and spicy Yucatan bean dip--were fantastic, and the entrees we had (a Cuban sandwich and a pulled-pork quesadilla) were also quite good. I think it'd be fun to go there for drinks and appetizers rather than for a big meal. It's part of Pittsburgh's Big Burrito restaurant group, whose concept restaurants could seem pretty insipid and tiresome if this city wasn't so lacking in decent places to eat.

The production of ENDGAME was really quite interesting. The audience sits on risers in the backstage area, the performers perform on the stage, and the backdrop for the set are the seats in the theater itself. I've never seen or heard of anything like it, but that certainly doesn't mean it isn't common. I've seen the famous San Quentin Theatre Workshop production of this play, and the PICT production sticks quite close to Beckett's intentions (he was adamant about directors sticking to the exact wordings of his plays, dialogue and stage directions both, and would sue producers that violated his dicta). None of the performances blew me away, but they were all quite good. Again, I'm not sure that Beckett's plays lend themselves well to various interpretations by performers. He tended to write for particular people (Roger Blin and actress Billie Whitelaw) and the plays seem to work best when performers stick to those models. But again, it's probably too early to say anything for sure. Maybe in 50 years there'll be a tradition of people reinterpreting Beckett, setting GODOT in a basketball arena or something.


  • At 11:50 PM, Blogger zp said…

    hey, i'd like to see that.

    and "setting GODOT in a basketball arena or something" - that i'd REALLY like to see. sometimes i feel like people who study beckett are still way too reverential . . .


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