HAPPY DAYS -- Fine Production of a Classic
By Bob and Karen Isaacs
BOB: I have to say that Westport Country Playhouse is doing a very unusual show for a summer season. It's Sam Beckett's Happy Days done in one act.
KAREN: The play is really a two act play - though each act is short. But Artistic Director Mark Lamos who also directed this has decided to do it with just a brief pause between the two acts. It is only 80 minutes in total, so it is quite reasonable. But he may also have done it so that most of the audience will stay for the entire piece. For Samuel Beckett is not your typical summer fare; it fact it is the first Beckett play to be done at Westport in its 80 year history!
BOB: Happy Days is -- I'll tell you what Lamos says about it and the main character, Winnie, played by the terrific Dana Ivey. "Winnie is a middle-class housewife trapped in a mound of earth while going on with her daily existence as best she can -- humorously, yet with a crazy kind of dignity and spirit."
KAREN: And optimism. The night we saw it, Mark Lamos gave a little pre-curtain talk and I think he is right. Everyone will experience this play in a unique way. There are many ways you can look at this play and many things you can take from it.
BOB: Beckett was a true modernist. He did win the Noble Prize for Literature.
KAREN: Some people will find it boring but others will find it interesting and thought provoking with interesting observations about human existence and human resiliency
BOB: and the ability to overlook things
KAREN: and carry on. This show demands a tremendous actress in the role of Winnie. Dana Ivey is more than up to it. If you want something a little more thoughtful than the usual summer comedies and musical you should go down to Westport.
BOB: It is a great play -- and it is well done. Plus it is 80 minutes.
KAREN: It runs through July 24 at Westport Country Playhouse. It will give you something to talk about it. If you love theater, this is one of those classics you should see.
BOB: The Westport audience responded well -- with a standing ovation at the conclusion.
This review appeared on WHNHU-88.7 FM and wnhu.net.