Get into existential flow of Rubicon troupe's 'Godot'

By Evan Henerson
Theater Critic

With little more than a rock, a skeletal tree and a pair of ill-fitting shoes comprising their world, Vladimir and Estragon - the existential tramps of Samuel Beckett's "Waiting for Godot" - wait and talk. And argue. And leave. And return. And wait some more.

Unquestionably, director Walter Asmus - a longtime Beckett collaborator - knows this territory. When we're in the company of Joe Spano's Didi, Robin Gammell's Gogo and, later, Lucky (Ted Neeley) and Pozzo (Cliff DeYoung), our universe shrinks to match theirs. We may not share Didi and Gogo's desire to "hang themselves" rather than keep up the vigil, but we certainly understand why they would want to.

Spano's somewhat bullying hucksterism is masking the desperation that Gammell's older, fussier Gogo makes no effort to hide. Whether contemplating a suicide pact or passing a trio of hats back and forth - hand to head, hand to head - they are, ultimately, a well-matched pair. An entirely different but compatible absurdist energy comes with the arrival of DeYoung's prim and proper land owner Pozzo.

"Godot" is the centerpiece of the Rubicon's ambitious West Coast Beckettfest, which will feature all of the author's works on stage or film. Beckett-ites will want to sample the wares.

As for "Godot," well, the title character never comes, but audiences should.

Where: Rubicon Theatre, 1006 E. Main St., Ventura.
When: 7 p.m. Wednesday, 8 p.m. Thursday and Friday, 2 and 8 p.m. Saturday, 2 p.m. Sunday; through Oct. 3.
Tickets: $30 to $45. Call (805) 667-2900.
In a nutshell: Dark and funny, absurdist and pointless. Just as the author must have intended it to be.

Evan Henerson, (818) 713-3651

Information                                Copyright � 2004 Whittier Daily News                                Feedback
                                                  Los Angeles Newspaper Group