Put your Beckett caps on, theatergoers! “Waiting for Godot” is returning to Broadway this Thursday after being absent for more than 50 years. The revival (aptly) by the Roundabout Theater Company will star Nathan Lane as Estragon, Bill Irwin as Vladimir, John Goodman as Pozzo, and John Glover as Lucky.
With the recession tramping on interminably, the play’s elemental yet cryptic quality may be more relevant now than it ever has been. As Charles Isherwood wrote in The New York Times, “Calls are being made to strip away the glossy distraction, the unnecessary indulgence. Ostentation is out; austerity in.” But he cautions against casting the psychologically riven play as “the kind of reduction that celebrates the simple things in life, that renews and refreshes, the aesthetic equivalent of a closet purge or a colonic irrigation…Life is a long, short, mysterious trek at the best of times and the worst, for pauper and prince alike.” Indeed. And with economists predicting both prolonged stagnation and imminent revival, these dualities speak right to the core of our fears and hopes.