- By Deborah Behrens
- Photo Courtesy of CTG
Academy Award winner Dianne Wiest (Hannah and Her Sisters, Bullets Over Broadway) stars in Yale Repertory Theatre’s production of Samuel Beckett’s absurdist 1961 comedy Happy Days at the Mark Taper Forum. Famous for its iconic Act I imagery of a 50ish woman named Winnie buried up to her waist in a mound of dirt, the herculean role is considered on par with scaling Shakespeare’s Hamlet or King Lear with renowned theater legends tackling the part throughout its nearly 60-year existence.
James Bundy, Dean of Yale School of Drama and Artistic Director of Yale Rep, directs the two-hander, which co-stars Michael Rudko (The Audience) as Winnie’s 60ish henpecked husband Willie who resignedly reads the newspaper in his nearby gopher hole. Los Angeles audiences last witnessed Beckett’s existential angst at the Taper during its acclaimed 2012 revival of Waiting for Godot. This time Winnie is the one who cheerfully waits for each day’s dawn to deliver her from an inevitable fate and the monotonous hours to be filled until then: “Sometimes all is over, for the day, all done, all said, all ready for the night, and the day not over, far from over, the night not ready, far, far from ready.”
“She [Wiest] shows us what a deeply womanly role Beckett has written, albeit one whose tragedy is refracted through a distorting comic lens.” – New York Times
Plays May 15 – June 30. For more information, click here.