Crazy for you
Pozzo, the crazed slave owner in Samuel Beckett's "Waiting for Godot," is currently being given a fabulously entertaining turn by Buffalo actor Richard Wesp in the opening production at the Irish Classical Theatre. In "No Author Better Served," the 1998 book documenting the incredible 30-year correspondence between Samuel Beckett and American director Alan Schneider, just now out in paperback (Harvard University Press), Beckett has more than a few things to say about how Pozzo should be played. It was 1955 with the disastrous American premiere (in Miami and directed by Schneider) in rehearsal when Beckett wrote Schneider from Paris to say Pozzo was a "hypomaniac and the only way to play him is to play him mad." In the role, Wesp is a surging mass of abrupt moods and inexplicable reactions all done up in a startlingly odd (and hilarious) array of vocal mannerisms. It certainly seems mad enough.
Crazy for you, two
A whacky role of quite another sort is taken up by Ed. Simone, who plays the art dealer Sagot in Steve Martin's comedy "Picasso at the Lapine Agile." Sagot was a historical figure who comes across as a zany, carny-barker in Simone's portrayal. Simone's other public persona is at the other end of the personality spectrum: his poised, mellifluent voice can be heard on WNED-FM.
A special benefit performance of Ronald Harwood's "The Dresser" will be given in the Pfeifer Theatre for Tim White. White, respected area actor and Buffalo Ensemble Theatre artistic director, recently underwent a long-awaited kidney transplant. Tickets will be from $10 to $25. For reservations call 855-2225 or 856-4533.
While we on this side of the border are celebrating the joys of Curtain Up!, over in Port Dalhousie, Ont., at the Theatre in Port, they are celebrating "Misery." Stephen King's thriller about an obsessed woman who holds a famous novelist hostage opens tonight in the century-old Port Mansion, 12 Lakeport Road, Port Dalhousie. The play runs through Nov. 4. Call (905) 934-0575.