Any chance the Taper could produce more revivals of this caliber? Beckett is no doubt right about the confounding ache of existence, but this “Waiting for Godot” provides theatrical hope.
Charles McNulty – LA Times
Michael Arabian’s stunning revival of Samuel Beckett’s “Waiting for Godot” at the Mark Taper Forum never wears the play’s international reputation on its sleeve. All involved don’t seem to know or care about the tragicomedy’s stature as 20th century theatrical redefiner or existential statement. They just tell the tale of two little tramps adrift on a road to nowhere, and let the universality emerge as it will. The result? It’s difficult to imagine a funnier or more moving “Godot” anytime, anyplace.
Bob Verini – Variety
Arabian’s “Godot” milks more mirth out of Beckett’s study of tedium and quiet desperation than any interpretation that I’ve seen.
Paul Hodgins – OC Register
Director Michael Arabian’s production is marvelously acted. Mandell is charming as “Go-Go,” and McGovern is delightfully sullen as “Di-Di.” The two have a wonderful rapport, which is perhaps the most important aspect of the production; without it, the otherwise nonsensical dialogue would be aggravatingly vague, but both work to put meaning behind everything they say.
Katie Buenneke – Neon Tommy
Samuel Beckett is a great comic playwright. You don’t believe me? Then run, don’t walk, to the Mark Taper Forum and see the blissfully funny and yet profoundly melancholy revival of Waiting For Godot.
Harvey Perr – Stage and Cinema
Without making any attempt to reinvent the wheel, director Michael Arabian, an unerring five-member cast, and a gifted design team have revisited the 1953 classic, bringing a sparkling vitality to Beckett’s perpetually relevant exploration of the inescapable mysteries and anxieties of our journeys through life.
Les Spindle – Backstage
This new production at the Mark Taper Forum is an extraordinary exploration of its wobbly reality.
Dale Reynolds – Stagehappenings
Center Theater Group has mounted a landmark production of Waiting for Godot, one which will not be topped in this, or perhaps any other, age.
Willard Manus – TotalTheater
For those that take pleasure in talk and the possible philosophical conjectures one can draw from the stripped down look at humanity, this “Waiting for Godot” at the Mark Taper Forum is worth seeing.
Jana Monji – LA Examiner
To belabor the story is to miss the point of the absurdist exercise. Beckett’s genius is his ability to entertain and comment widely while still illustrating the inherent weariness and challenge of existence. Michael Arabian’s direction strikes a perfect chord. He does not go for slapstick, nor is the audience hit over the head with philosophical challenge. Rather, pearls of wisdom and conundrums come floating past at dizzying speeds. I doubt Beckett could have wished for more.
Karen Weinstein – Working Author
Instead of worrying about meaning, audiences should ask three questions: Does the meticulously crafted language sound natural? Does it feel as though things are happening? And most important of all, is it funny? In the Taper production, which runs through April 22, the answer to all three is a hearty yes.
Jeff Favre – LA Downtown News
Seamlessly weaving elements of burlesque, commedia del-arte and absurdism, the actors under Arabian’s direction illuminate Beckett’s text in ways that are both profound, moving and entertaining.
Hoyt Hilsman – Huffington Post
Central to this success are the duo of Alan Mandell and Barry McGovern, whose connection as the waiting men Estragon and Vladimir becomes a living thing. Their constant intertwining of line, of mood and even of whimsy gives an energy to the piece. This, in turn, keeps one connected to character and content in a play which has lots of both in place of a plot.
Frances Baum Nicholson – The Stage Struck Review
This is a Godot not to be missed.
Lovell Estell III – LA Weekly
Don’t get me wrong, this is a wonderful production of Waiting for Godot but it’s most poignant moments feel just out of reach.
Anthony Byrnes – Opening the Curtain
The revival of “Waiting for Godot” directed by Michael Arabian for Center Theatre Group at the Mark Taper Forum, is here, and my word, has it been worth the anticipation.
Evan Henerson – LA Examiner
However, if you can let it all flow through and over you, it can be a very powerful experience that allows you to notice your current time and space, and leads you to evaluate what you are waiting for.
Kelly Hargraves – Campus Circle
The Center Theatre Group has given Southland theatergoers a once-in-a-lifetime gift with Michael Arabian’s exquisitely faithful staging of Samuel Beckett’s mid-20th century masterpiece featuring Alan Mandell and Barry McGovern, two gifted actors who have spent considerable portions of their long and rich careers wrestling with the Nobel Prize-winning Irish writer’s provocative and gloriously enigmatic existential explorations.
Christopher Cappiello – Frontiers
Although the show is a puzzling parable, the performance Michael Arabian has staged is a clear victory in every way. Alan Mandell delivers a sensitive, heart-tugging performance as the tattered and tired Estragon (or “Gogo”). He is reminiscent of everyone you have ever met that you have wanted to scoop up and take care of, even as they continue putting one foot in front of the other anyway.
Susan Burns – Hey Melpomene
Michael Arabian’s staging of Godot at the Mark Taper Forum, through April 22, is quite simply the finest rendition of this play seen on local stages, surpassing a version from Ireland’s Gate Theatre performed at UCLA 12 years ago, though Barry McGovern, who plays Vladimir at the Taper, was in that production, too.
Steven Leigh Morris – LA Weekly
WAITING FOR GODOT
Mark Taper Forum
Los Angeles Music Center
135 N. Grand Ave., LA.
8 p.m. Tuesdays-Fridays, 2:30 and 8 p.m. Saturdays, 1 and 6:30 p.m. Sundays
Ends April 22, 2012
Tickets: $20 to $65; (213) 628-2772
Running time: 2 hours 15 minutes
About the Author: We don’t “review” shows here at the Lemon, rather we "review" reviews by gathering them from a variety of local review sites around the internet, judging them to be positive or negative, then forming an aggregate score that we call a LEMONMETER RATING, showing how well that show has been reviewed in total. For more detail on how the LemonMeter works visit here.