Waiting for Godot. Great seats, right up front in the left orchestra. It was a whole lot of fun. I could watch those two read Sanitation Department purchase orders for two hours and go home a happy camper. And then we went and got steak frites, so a good night, a very good night.
Just a few thoughts, though. I've seen this show many times. From the slightly surreal Robin Williams/Steve Martin version to the more recent Nathan Lane/Bill Irwin incarnation (Bill Irwin was actually in both, he played Lucky in the Williams-Martin show), to various college and regional theater productions.
This was a good show. It was not, to me, a transcendent show. It was quite the classic take, almost the college-textbook version, with two wonderful leads, but sometimes it seemed like Sir Pat and Sir Ian were in entirely different worlds, with Mr. McKellen doing his very actory, tricksy stylings (that never fail to work) and Mr. Stewart simply declaiming in his wonderfully straightforward way. So perhaps, as a viewer, I could have wished for a bit more directorial corralling of the legends into something more cohesive. But I do sympathize with the position of the director: when you have two great dynamos on your stage, I'm sure "getting out of the way" is the first impulse.
Oddly, what will probably stick with me from this show is the fascinatingly tightly-wrapped performance of Billy Crudup as Lucky. I thought Bill Irwin had kind of defined this character for me two decades ago, but now I'm not so sure. Crudup had a kind of crazily sinister intensity, and the role is so goddamn hard, it was just a pleasure to watch something entirely new and fascinating. Missus chritter, ever the physician, looked at me when the lights came up at intermission and said "I may need to go backstage and administer intravenous fluids to Billy Crudup after that performance."
This has been your GT theater review for this evening.