Happy Days, by Samuel Beckett
Oh les beaux jours!
FOUR HUMOURS THEATER [www.fourhumourstheater.org, finally] returns with a few of its favorite things...
...an environmental staging, a la our productions of Kennedy's Children, The Night of the Iguana, The Park Bench Plays, and The Bachelor in New Orleans...
...a juicy role for a magnificent actress, and...
...the great Irish dramatist Samuel Beckett.
HAPPY DAYS is Beckett's follow-up to Krapp's Last Tape (produced by 4H two years ago, under Ed Bishop's direction, in an overstuffed Rampart Street backroom), written upon request of his wife, who wanted him to attempt a "happy play" next.
It follows a day...another day...maybe a kind of seaside holiday...in the life of Winnie, who passes her time between "the bell for waking and the bell for sleep" buried up to her bosom in a sandy mound of earth.
To distract herself and keep her spirits up, optimistic Winnie has only her bag (containing toiletries, a parasol, and a revolver); her inattentive, self-absorbed husband Willie (muttering to himself at the foot of the hill over items in the newspaper); her strict routine of prayer and personal grooming; and, especially, her incessant, heart-breaking prattle. "Oh, another happy day!"
The script is strangely sexual as well, more than just a 'tribute' to the never-say-die spirit. HAPPY DAYS can easily be regarded as being about the tribulations of lifelong marriage, its losses and needs.
Yet despite her bleak predicament, Winnie never gives in to despair. After all, it's always possible that she could "simply float up into the blue And that perhaps some day the earth will yield and let me go, the pull is so great, yes, crack all round me and let me out."
The term "tour de force" was created for roles like Winnie. MARY PAULEY, so memorable as 'A' in the Silk Dress production of Albee's Three Tall Women last spring, is equal to the demands of this precise, profound, nearly solo show. She is abetted by MICHAEL MARTIN, who also directs, as the monosyllabic Willie.
The all-important hill is designed by SEAN CREEL.
MARGEAUX FANNING is the production manager, STACIE LeJEUNE the assistant director, and KATHRYN TALBOT (Four Humours members all) the propmistress.
HAPPY DAYS runs Saturdays and Sundays, 3pm matinees only, outdoors behind Richard Mayer's Shadowbox Theatre, 2400 St Claude, November 12-27.
(Although our schedule overlaps with the New Orleans Fringe Festival--with our gratitude to its management--please note that this is NOT a Fringe production. Fringe buttons won't be honored. And yes, closing performances WILL be held Thanksgiving weekend.)
Advance purchases through Brown Paper Tickets are $10; at-the-door, $12. Seniors & students can also have the $10 rate, even at the door.
Call 504.948.4167 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for unpaid reservations, which will be held until 10 minutes to showtime.
2400 St Claude, at St Roch
New Orleans, LA 70116
|Minimum Age: 16|
|Dog Friendly: No|
|Wheelchair Accessible: Yes!|