So my beautiful boyfriend Kevin took me to see Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead last night at Center Stage in Baltimore. What a great show. Of course, the play is phenomenal, but the acting was also wonderful – witty but thoughtful, philosophical and playful. It was great stuff.
I found myself trying to figure out why I resonate so much with this play and with Beckett’s Waiting for Godot (click here for a good synopsis and brief analysis of the play from TheatreHistory.com). Part of it, I know, is the word play and the tenacity of language that both Stoppard and Beckett display. Another part of my fascination lies in the way that this playing with language highlights truths about existence. For example, “Eternity’s a terrible thought. I mean, where’s it all going to end?” Of course, there’s humor in this statement by Rosencrantz, but there’s also truth. Where does eternity end? We, as humans, have great trouble moving beyond the finite. Stoppard’s ideas are not new, not even fresh really – but there’s something about seeing them delivered wittily and mostly for the sake of delivery that makes them come alive.
And perhaps that’s the real reason I love this play and Beckett’s Godot – they make me sit still and think – something that we, as Americans, are HORRIBLE about.
I highly recommend the play if you get a chance, and if you see it at Center Stage, you’ll see almost every actor who has ever cameo-ed on Law and Order. It’s great.
P.S. I’m on day two with no TV, and it rocks.