‘A Night Forlorn’ comic reimagining of ‘Waiting for Godot’ blends funny with flair at Theatre West

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A winning blend of fine writing and acting, the Theatre West world premiere production of The Night Forlorn (or, Waitin’ on Godsford) offers an entertaining and wry comic take on Samuel Beckett’s Waiting for Godot, featuring two confused but stoic compadres searching for direction in more ways than one.

Writer Steve Nevil playfully adapts Beckett’s existential story to the wide-open west, a place to make new beginnings and new choices, adding in dry humor and thoughtful asides.

Befuddled cowpokes Percy (Jim Beaver) and Elvin (J. Downing) patiently await plans from their leader Godsford (Tom Allard), considering their choices, as lively and intense visitors pass their way.

Beaver and Downing’s understated, thoughtful performances as the simple-minded, loyal pair center the play. Beaver’s prickly but lovable Percy perfectly complements Downing’s easygoing, hopeful Elvin, his sarcasm softened by Elvin’s optimism. June Schreiner adds passionate and expressive charm to vulnerable Tag, adding fine lassoing and singing skills to the mix.

Director Arden Teresa Lewis keeps things moving even without a lot going on, with one of the characters always up to something, adding flair and funny bits of business.

Theatre West presents “The Night Forlorn (or, Waitin’ on Godsford)” Friday and Saturday nights at 8pm and Sundays at 2pm through Sunday, April 22 at Theatre West located at 3333 Cahuenga Blvd. West in Los Angeles. Tickets cost $25, $15 for seniors and $10 for students with ID. For reservations and information call (323) 851-7977 or TheatreWest.org to purchase tickets.

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