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Institute of Contemporary Art Boston presents Boston Premiere of Classical Theatre of Harlem’s ‘Waiting for Godot’

The Institute of Contemporary Art/Boston (ICA) presents the Boston premiere of the Classical Theatre of Harlem’s (CTH) production of Samuel Beckett’s Waiting for Godot—perhaps the most celebrated existential work in theater history, directed by Christopher McElroen, on Saturday, Sept. 26 at 8 p.m. and Sunday, Sept. 27 at 2 p.m.

The tale that revolutionized 20th-century theater is given new life and meaning in an audacious restaging by the Classical Theatre of Harlem and director Christopher McElroen. Two tramps are still waiting endlessly for a guy named Godot. But in this production by CTH—celebrated for its fresh presentations of the classics and hailed by The New York Times as “a company to follow and relish”—the pair are stranded in New Orleans at a post-Katrina crossroads. This gives Godot a powerful immediacy, fully realizing the agony of waiting, as well as the irrepressibility of humanity, imagination, and humor, in a production Beckett himself would surely have admired. Godot dazzles with the darkness of a moral emergency and the humor of the human condition.

CTH’s Godot was first performed to outstanding reviews in New York in 2006. It has since been presented, in 2007, outdoors in New Orleans’s Ninth Ward, where the story of waiting for a deliverance that never comes was perfectly set. In New Orleans, the work was staged on the porch of a flooded house, and drew 10,000 people. CTH manages to breathe new life into Godot, recalling any place where people are waiting for help that never arrives.

Vladimir is played by Billy Eugene Jones, a Yale School of Drama graduate whose Broadway credits include Passing Strange, Radio Golf, A Gem of the Ocean, and A Raisin in the Sun. J Kyle Manzay plays Estragon. Manzay is a 2004 Obie award-winner, for his Outstanding Performance as Village in Jean Genet’s The Blacks: A Clown Show. He also appeared with Denzel Washington in the smash hit film American Gangster. Christian Rummel, who plays Pozzo, has appeared in many Off-Broadway productions and regional theater, and has also recorded over 1000 audio books for Random House, and other publishers. Lucky is played by Glenn Gordon, a graduate of Howard University whose theater credits include work with The New York Fringe Festival, National Black Theatre Festival and Alabama Shakespeare Festival.

Christopher McElroen (Director) is the co-founder of the Classical Theatre of Harlem where he has produced 40 productions yielding 13 Audelco Awards, six Obie Awards, two Lucille Lortel Awards, a Drama Desk Award and CTH being named “One of Eight theatres in America to Watch” by the Drama League. As a director, he has helmed numerous productions at CTH including The Cherry Orchard with Wendell Pierce and Earle Hyman, and The Blacks: A Clown Show, Marat/Sade. He has also directed a numerous venues including The Brooklyn Academy of Music, Stanford University and the Walker Arts Center, among others. Your source for news and information about Boston Theatre. Join our email list, follow us on Twitter @exploretheatre and become a fan on Facebook.

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