David Friedman and FourScore Productions
GODOT HAS LEFT THE BUILDING
By JOHN GRIFFIN
45 Below Theatre, 45 Bleecker St., NYC
June 16 through July 9, 2006
Directed by WILL POMERANTZ
Scenic and Lighting Design GARIN MARSCHALL
Costume Design NAOMI WOLFF
Sound Design PATRICK WEAVER
Production Stage Manager MAEVE SWEENEY
Press Representative O&M – ORIGLIO/MIRAMONTEZ COMPANY
Edward Griffin – Joe
Scott David Nogi – Sebastian
Gabriel Gutierrez – The Artist
Bert Gurin – The Old Man
GODOT HAS LEFT THE BUILDING appears to take place in some post-apocalyptic or post-industrial period on the planet, where a handful of survivors wander a landscape strewn with computer parts and Starbucks cups. As the play opens, shoeless businessman Joe finds himself thrown into a desolate landscape. Here he finds fellow traveler, Sebastian, who has been in this virtual purgatory long enough to bury the dead bodies, forget the life that came before and acquire a pair of boots.
As Joe and Sebastian bond, often to great comedic effect, they share the boots, play games, plot films and whatever else they can think of to pass the time. They do not know where they are, or where they may go, and they simply wait. Two other characters make appearances in GODOT HAS LEFT THE BUILDING, but they are far less profound or purposeful than the two main players. There is The Artist, who plucks hope away with a thoughtless gesture, and The Old Man, who functions both as a comic prop and as something of a philosopher.
Kudos to Edward Griffin and especially Scott David Nogi for creating some funny moments onstage. They bring John Griffin’s script to life amid death and desolation. Garin Marschall’s set initially sets the tone, as it extends beyond the stage, lining the hall and staircase that leads to the performance space. Naomi Wolff’s costumes, Garin Marschall’s lighting and Patrick Weaver’s sound design complete the picture, with director Will Pomerantz tying it all together.
Similar in theme and structure to Beckett’s WAITING FOR GODOT, John Griffin’s play exists in a parallel universe. The central characters, Joe and Sebastian, having found each other fall into the habit of waiting, and though tempted, ultimately and repeatedly fight the curiosity to venture beyond their small slice of a desolate universe. Here, however, rather than waiting for the mythic Godot, they admit that they are not quite sure what it is that they are waiting for. While Beckett’s characters had the promise of a visit from Godot, or faith to validate their existence, Griffin’s characters dwell in a land and time where not only GODOT HAS LEFT THE BUILDING, but the buildings themselves appear to have been destroyed. Theirs is a faith in something they have not even named. Good work.
- Kessa De Santis -