"Is life one inferno of an eternal cosmic line?" asks Gogo, played by Marjorie Duffield, in Theater of the Ape's all-female rendition of Zamboni Godot written and directed by Ayun Halliday, inspired by Samuel Beckett's famous existentialist piece from the '50s, Waiting for Godot. Life, to most of us, most certainly seems so. There are websites dedicated to describing the best ways to hack the Trader Joe's lines, apps which monitor transport so as to optimize our waiting time, a whole branch of the TSA meant to speed up your security check-in, for an extra fee. Yes, though it has been half a century since the original work, we are still waiting.
In this piece, which is on at The Brick in Williamsburg til Sunday, March 22nd, Halliday uses an all-female cast — 6 of which are supporting characters — and the two main characters, Gogo (Marjorie Duffield) and Dede (Chris Lindsay-Abaire). The female chorus tends to serve as the body of ever-waiting women in any given circumstance such as the DMV, the Airplane tarmac, and of course, the ladies' restroom. In each of these scenarios, Gogo and Dede contemplate leaving said line, "surely other lines are in need of waiting," but never do, because after all, waiting is waiting. When the waiting becomes unbearable and the bickering relentless, Gogo pulls out a noose from her bag, which she threatens to use but never does to completion.
Towards the end of the play, Dede, who is on her deathbed, contemplates why she decided to spend her life waiting with Gogo, someone "whose only response is to get out the rope."
Ultimately, the two are waiting, in this case, for a text from Godot (haven't we all been there).
In the end, the two are wearing the iconic bowler hats, waiting by the iconic tree for a Godot that never comes.
Halliday's exploration of the experience of waiting is a dark, funny, and femme-tastic portrayal of Waiting for Godot.
We urge our readers to go see it! Tickets here.
Photo: Marjorie Duffield and Chris Lindsay-Abaire. Taken by Sue Jaye Johnson.
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Jen Pitt, originally from Brazil, is a Brooklyn based writer and performer. She covers feminism, arts, and Brazilian culture.