See it if My first Beckett and my last Beckett. All 30 points earned thanks to Dianne Wiest.
Don't see it if Oooof. Bad. Ooof. Can I get the hour of my life back?
See it if Woman stuck in the sand talks to herself and barely-responsive companion to pass the time. An extreme metaphor for the human condition.
Don't see it if The image was memorable but despite good acting, it dragged a bit and wasn't all that deep. We all focus on trivialities and smile to get by
See it if you want a master class in acting from Dianne Wiest in a masterful post-apocalyptic tragicomedy from absurdist genius, Samuel Beckett.
Don't see it if Beckett's not your cup of tea... although I think this play, esp. as interpreted by Wiest & James Bundy, may make you appreciate his work.
See it if You can sit through Beckett.
Don't see it if You can't sit through Beckett.
See it if See if you enjoy and appreciate Samuel Beckett. An outstanding performance by Dianne Wiest. Relax as you experience a memorable play.
Don't see it if Do not see if you are unfamiliar with Beckett or expect a simple , uncomplicated play or musical.
See it if You want a master class in acting from Diane Weist , she makes the apparent ramblings make perfect sense
Don't see it if You are averse to absurdist plays and find plays like Godot too much .
See it if You like challenging work, are open to absurdism, and like your comedy and tragedy mixed in equal measure.
Don't see it if You need anything straightforward. You need action and plot and don't value meditative theater. Read more
See it if You enjoy Beckett, even if you can only bear his cheeriest work, which this is. No, its not a laff riot, but you can smile.
Don't see it if You don't think it appropriate for a playwright to ask you to consider the value, the purpose, the meaning of your life here on the planet.
"Life is terrible and yet, as played with ineffable gentleness by Wiest, whose alto flute of a voice has never seemed so gay and vulnerable, Winnie is no whiner...She finds laughs not only in the words but also in the gaps between...Great performances don’t on their own make definitive revivals. It’s not that there is anything notably wrong with Bundy’s dutiful staging...To the extent the production supports and frames Wiest so she can excel, it need not be better than it is. But it could be."
"The affecting revival at TFANA welcomes such sadness: In Wiest’s beautifully limpid performance, moments of bitter self-awareness pass like clouds over Winnie’s determined sunniness, enriching the play’s absurdism with plangent notes of deep feeling (including real hurt at Willie’s inattention). This 'Happy Days' fills you with a desire to comfort its heroine, but also with the knowledge that such comfort could only be cold."
“Rigorously faithful to Beckett except perhaps for its scenery…This production’s realism made the situation’s grotesqueries all the more horrifying and the dramatic challenge all the greater…Ms. Wiest heroically carries the play on her shoulders and brow—sometimes breaking into fury, sometimes visibly working herself into happiness…Yet, in Ms. Wiest’s powerful performance, there are times we come to doubt those smiles…A vein of unease runs through Ms. Wiest’s portrayal.”
"Dianne Wiest is now re-creating her marvelous performance, full of humor and pathos...Director James Bundy lets Beckett's frequent stage pauses play themselves out, sometimes for a tad too long. Still, Wiest's humorous and poignant Winnie is one for the ages...It's the somber tone of this production that distinguishes it...Despite their infrequent interaction, Wiest and Conroy succeed in creating endearing chemistry onstage in marvelous moments of theater magic."
"I've seen all sorts of actresses take on the role of Winnie, but none have made the character quite as purposeful as Dianne Wiest...The deft, utterly natural way that Wiest handles these bits of business are, I submit, the key to this production...It's fascinating to see how Bundy and his star deliver a characterization that feels both classically Beckett and yet its own distinct creation."
"All I can say is, move over Ruth White. Although you haven't been displaced in my heart and mind, the TFANA's Winnie, Dianne Wiest, reigns supreme. Her vivid, varied and touching performance in this endurance test of a play is so rich and ripe with detail that I pity any other actress I see in the part."
"Even buried up to her neck in dirt, Dianne Wiest can act circles around most other thespians...'Happy Days' is a challenge in that it doesn’t weather the test of time as well as Beckett’s better known works...It’s allegorical, to be sure, but, oddly enough, lacks roots...No matter, for this is a Wiest workshop, or showcase if you will (craftily helmed by director James Bundy) and that’s more than enough. It’s an absolute treat to watch her work through Winnie’s difficulties."
"Under the assured direction of James Bundy, Wiest lends a determinedly naturalistic interpretation to Beckett's lines...She finds immense poignancy and much that's poetic beneath the surface banality of the text. But 'Happy Days' is anti-naturalistic; and, in this instance, the straightforward, unadorned quality of Wiest's performance leaves money on the table...With so much in Wiest's performance that's remarkable, it may be ungrateful to concentrate on what's missing."