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Star Bar in the Press: Waiting for Godot, 2010

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

'Godot' opens season for Star Bar
by Kate Jonuska
The Gazette

The wait for the Star Bar players' 2010 - 2011 season is over, and yet, in a way, the waiting has just begun: The company's ambitious opening show is Samuel Beckett's existential masterpiece Waiting for Godot, which runs through Nov. 20 at the troupe's new home, the Attitudes Performing Arts Center, 1506 N. Hancock Ave, near Patty Jewett Golf Course.

"It's a definitive piece of theater that almost nobody does," says Alysabeth Clements Mosley, Star Bar's artistic director.

"We wanted for Star Bar to hit the ground running. We didn't want to take baby steps, and we're not going to be doing easy."

Famous for being a play about nothing, this production of Waiting for Godot will be suitably sparse, with only a tree, a rock and little else on stage as the four main actors wait for the character Godot to arrive. But simultaneously, their pass-the-time conversations about both the mundane and the transcendent are rich with meaning and a goldmine of depth for passionate actors.

"I think this is the most challenging, exhausting thing I've done," says Sammy Gleason, who plays Lucky, an aged former teacher and philosopher led around the stage on a leash. While essentially devoid of action, he calls the play a beautifully expressed bit of nothing, and dismisses the notion that it's purely high-brow entertainment.

"When people hear about it, people think it must be slow and boring and not fun to go to, and that's not true," says Gleason. "There is so much humor here. It's dry, but it's hilarious, almost Vaudevillian."

"It's dynamic and very comic, at every moment. It's not the hard work that people think it is," says Clements Mosley, who thinks of Beckett as one of theatre's greatest wits. "Even if the subject matter is deep, with the approach, (Beckett) does all the work for you and you sit back and enjoy."

After acting out the waiting on stage, Gleason says, "I think (the play) is an admonishment against not taking an active role in your life and your dreams and what you want to do."

Giving up on dreams is certainly not the Star Bar Players' style. Founded in 1972, the troupe has persevered despite numerous adversities, including a 2009 - 2010 season with no permanent venue. At Attitudes Performing Arts Center, Star Bar will benefit from a larger but still intimate space for this year's four-show season.

"Star Bar's tradition is doing a lot with a little," says Clements Mosley, which is perhaps why the company is aiming to make a play about nothing mean so much to audiences.

"I want people to walk away having that under their belt, having another cultural notch on their belt, and also think it was wonderful and delightful."