Thursday, August 27, 2009

Waiting With M. Godot: A Review of Love, Wine, and Redheads

I don't even remember what the show description was about. All I saw was the word "redhead," and I knew I wanted to see Waiting With M. Godot.

"Blah blah blah redhead blah blah blah."

I have a soft spot in my heart for redheads. It's the Scots-ophile in me.

So I went to M. Godot on Tuesday night to see what the big deal was, and if there was anything other than the promise of a redhead.

Loved it!

As a writer who primarily spends my day on the right hemisphere of my cranium, I have very romantic notions of love. Sort of the French ideal of love, which is what M. Godot, the waiter, tries to teach Jackson. (I know! Waited on by Godot?! Get it?)

Unfortunately, Jackson (Nick Foreman), an engineer, views love like an item on a checklist. Godot sees it as the ultimate achievement in life. Something to be treasured, revered, embraced, not a transaction to be conducted over a questionable wine. All he knew was that he thought he loved Danni, a playwright and temp office worker.

"How did you know when you were in love?" Jackson asked Godot.

"How do you know if you have a cold or not?" asked Godot. "How do you know if you are hungry or not? You just know."

At first, Monsieur Godot was an annoyance to Jackson, an intrusion into the carefully laid plans he had created, complete with right angles and primary colors. He had a formulaic approach to the night, to the rest of his life, and it showed in what he thought of love.

Godot, on the other hand, knew that love, like life, is chaotic and unpredictable. It doesn't follow formulas, and it refuses to be tethered, like a wild horse bucking a rider. He knew that only certain wines go with love, and other wines — like a Pinot — go with redheads. (But what the hell is wrong with merlots? I like merlots.)

But Jackson doesn't like this nosy waiter, who is interfering with his vision and with his formula. He's got his plan. He's going to propose to the playwright and hope she calms down and quits being so damn loud.

"I really don't like Jackson," I whispered to the woman sitting at my table. "She's too good for him."

It's like Carmel trying to marry Downtown, I wrote in my book. Practical trying to tame passion.

"Do not pick your image of love," said Godot. "Be made by love." At least he got it.

I even shared my view of Jackson with Steve Pierce, the director, and Ronn Johnstone, the writer. They both looked surprised and hurt.

"Oh no, I mean Nick did a great job. But I didn't like Jackson as a character. He wasn't good enough for her."

"Sure, but you were supposed to like him at the end," they both said (independently of each other, mind you).

Yeah, I guess I did at the end. And I loved Waiting With M. Godot, uptight and misguided civil engineers notwithstanding.

If you like romance, then you need to see this play before it leaves the Fringe.


(UPDATE: I enjoyed the play so much, I brought my wife back to it on Thursday night. "That's what I think about you," I told her. "Who, Jackson?!" "No, Godot. I think everything about you that Godot said." Awwww.....)



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