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...and then you go on. An Anthology of the Works of Samuel Beckett

Theatre Review by Matthew Murray

...and then you go on is subtitled An Anthology of the Works of Samuel Beckett. Adapted by Bob Jaffe, The anthology consists of portions of thirteen of Beckett's works, including Waiting for Godot, Endgame, and The Unnamable, all melded into one 75-minute piece.

Whether it will work for you depends on how much you like Beckett. The piece, as directed by Peter Wallace, is far less a celebration of Beckett's work than merely a presentation of them, and familiarity with his writings is almost a requirement. Jaffe provides few clues as to what he's doing, or what source he drew it from, so prepare to be confused if you aren't intimately familiar with the Beckett catalog.

The best part of the show is Jaffe himself. He's a tall, lank man with a tremendously expressive face and voice, but his greatest attribute is his great desire to communicate with and please the audience. Most of the show is delivered directly to audience members, and he even delivers one speech from a seat in the audience, in essence commenting on the play while remaining a part of it.

He's tremendously likable, but the work itself is less so. ...and then you go on is combative, demanding, and highly cerebral, and much in the spirit of Beckett. But the only connecting threads of the piece are Beckett and Jaffe himself. As an anthology, the piece is incomplete, failing to give you a complete picture of Beckett as a man, a poet, or a playwright; as a one-man show, aside from the language, it provides Jaffe with far too little to play; and, for an audience unfamiliar with the sources of the lines, it provides far too little entertainment.

...and then you go on is an admirable idea gone wrong, an appropriate though misguided tribute to a major 20th century playwright. Beckett's works are important and interesting enough for everyone to be exposed to, but there must be a better way than through the watered down, scattered, and unfulfilling treatment it has received here.

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...and then you go on. An Anthology of the Works of Samuel Beckett
Through May 19
HERE, 145 Sixth Avenue
Schedule and Tickets: (212) 647-0202