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Last night I dreamed that I went to see Waiting for Godot in New York, but instead of Ian McKellen there was Billy Crystal, and the first three rows were full of babies. Patrick Stewart was gamely going on with the show, but every so often a whiff of diaper shit would reach him, and he began to falter…


Stewart and McKellen in the Samuel Beckett masterpiece. Source: Guardian.com

Each year, I arrange a New York Theater Bacchanal. I have duly made the arrangements to ring in 2014 in the Big Apple, but my dream was ominous. After the Beckett debacle, we went to see The Night Alive, which is Conor McPherson’s hot new play about Irish down-and-outers in a bedsit. Disappointingly, all the characters filed off the stage in the first scene. They planned to move on up to a de-luxe apartment in Dublin because Tommy had won the lottery.


Ciarán Hinds as Tommy, about to strike it rich. Click for Vimeo source.

I had a lot of trouble deciding whether to see Mark Rylance in the all-male production of Twelfth Night, where he appears as Olivia with Stephen Fry as Malvolio, or in Richard III, which is playing in rep with Twelfth Night. So I ended up getting tickets for both.


Mark Rylance as Olivia and Richard III. Source: broadway.com.

But something must have gone haywire those two nights, because Olivia came out wearing Richard’s hump and withered hand, while Richard was forced to woo Stephen Fry as Lady Anne. I must say, however, that Mark Rylance was more than equal to the task.

Our last play was a splurge: premium tickets to see Daniel Craig, Rachel Weisz and Rafe Spall in Harold Pinter’s 1970s tale of infidelity, Betrayal. Directed by none other than the great Mike Nichols! Alas, this play too went south. Maybe it was the damning effect of Ben Brantley’s scathing review, but Nichols had decided to make some major changes to the script. We sat there befuddled as Craig and Weisz went into Taylor and Burton mode, and informed Spall that they didn’t need his help to ruin their marriage, thank you very much. They could manage it just fine on their own. 


Love triangle: Weisz, Craig and Spall. Source: nymag.com.

Am I making all this up, you ask? Not entirely. I did have the dream about Waiting for Godot! Let’s hope the reality is slightly less absurd.