Alias Godot

Brendan Gall must be smoking some seriously good stuff to have come up with the wild and wacky world of this play, now running at Tarragon.

As indicated by the title, this play is inspired by the famous Beckett play but this time we meet Godot and find he's trying to figure out where he is, who he is, and why it's so important to get back to a farm in France. Alon Nashman plays this character with his trademark vulnerability and wit. I especially like how he captures his God-like moments, showing compassion and transcendence, only to lose them a minute later.

Geoffrey Pounsett, the hardest workin' man in Toronto theatre (actor/director division), has one incredibly nasty (in a good way) monologue that made me cringe in admiration as he went further into it. His role is the most absurd of the quintet and he pulls it off beautifully. He continues to impress.

The other actors - David Ferry, Tony Nappo and Paul Braunstein - all find their sure-footed way in the absurd world Gall has created. This is a play that relies so much on comedic timing and the ability to turn from that to pathos on a dime, and all three navigated it effortlessly. All in all, it's an incredibly strong cast.

I also really liked what Richard Rose did with the direction. The relationships are believable and the production has his trademark clarity. The sound and lighting design had a huge part to play in this show and the designers - Teresa Przybylski, Rebecca Picherack, and Thomas Ryder Payne - all rose to the challenge.

Obviously, I had an immensely enjoyable experience and would highly recommend this show to anyone. There is one drawback though. The ending comes out of freakin' nowhere and I have no idea what the hell it is supposed to be represent. Brendan, help me out here!