First of all, the award for best bio so far in the Seattle Beckett Festival goes to Ray Tagavilla, for this:
Tagavilla plays the mute guy in Act Without Words Part I, part of "an evening of short works and rarities by Samuel Beckett" called Life = Play, at West of Lenin through Sunday.
My favorite short of the night? Come and Go, directed by AJ Epstein and acted by Rachel Delmar, Kate Kraay, and Kate Sumpter. (Kate Sumpter is the Cate Blanchett of young Seattle actors.)
Funniest moment of the night? That would have to be during La Derniere Bande
, when performer M. Burke Walker stroked, peeled, and ate a banana very slowly,
and a well-heeled woman in the front row, with coiffed hair and jeweled shoes, started laughing. She couldn't help it. Walker was standing there, having just unpeeled the banana, and was now holding the banana between his lips, no hands, and something about his face or the penis-y look of the banana made this woman in the front row start laughing uncontrollably,
quietly but audibly, and then the woman next to her started laughing quietly but audibly, and you know how it is when two people start laughing—they were done for, they couldn't stop. Eventually the woman who started it whispered, between laughter, "Oh God,"
but just kept on laughing, and then she whispered, between laughter, "I know,"
but just kept on laughing, and then she whispered, between laughter, "I'm sorry." La Derniere Bande
is interminable, and after doing some other stuff it came time for Walker to eat a second banana, and the woman lost it again. And then Walker ate a third
banana. Whoever you are, lady: You made the show for me. You were
the show. It's hard to think of two-word utterances more Beckettian than "Oh God," "I know," and "I'm sorry."
The Seattle Beckett Festival runs for a couple months. Waiting for Godot, for example, opens at ACT Theatre on Sept 3.