Columbus, OH, and points west will get a rare taste of Samuel Beckett executed by his native Ireland, when Dublin's famed Gate Theatre tours the U.S. this fall with productions of Waiting for Godot and Krapp's Last Tape. The tour will begin in Austin, TX, on Sept. 27, and cross, Kansas, Iowa, Ohio, Michigan and Berkeley, CA, before settling in Los Angeles on Oct. 25.
The Gate Theatre, founded in 1928 by Hilton Edwards and Michael MacLiamoir, has a long-standing relationship with the work of Beckett, who, though born in Ireland, spent more of his life in France. The company has repeatedly staged the playwright's works, most remarkably in 1991 when it mounted of 19 of Beckett's plays. Those productions travelled in 1996 to New York's Lincoln Center Theatre, where they met with great acclaim.
The current production of Godot will star Barry McGovern as Vladmir, Johnny Murphy as Estragon, Alan Stanford as Pozzo and Stephen Brennan as Lucky. Directing will be Walter Asmus, a one-time assistant of Beckett's who has gone on to duplicate in cities around the world the dramatist's own staging of his plays. Asmus re-mounted Beckett's version of Godot (first seen in 1975 in Berlin) at the Brooklyn Academy of Music in 1978 in a production starring Sam Waterston and Austin Pendleton.
David Kelly will star in Krapp's Last Tape, returning to a role he created in the play's 1959 Irish premiere. Pat Laffan will direct.
The touring schedule runs as follows: • Sept. 27-29: The Performing Arts Center of the University of Texas at Austin.
• Oct. 1-2: The Lied Center of Kansas.
• Oct. 4-7: The Wexner Center for the Arts in Columbus, OH.
• Oct. 10-11: The University Musical Society in Ann Arbor, MI.
• Oct. 18-22: Cal Performances at the University of California, Berkeley.
• Oct. 25-29: UCLA Performing Arts in Los Angeles.
Consult local venues for ticket information.
--By Robert Simonson