Monday, May 25, 2009

"Krapp's Last Tape": ☼ BANG

Krapp is an old man. Every step he takes is accompanied by a painful grunt. His only smile is when he finds a banana in his desk. He regards the banana. He peels it and eats it. Then he finds another. This is what Samuel Beckett calls "action."

The rest of the very short play is Krapp, played by Paul Gerrior, sitting at a desk and turning on and off and pausing and rewinding a tape recorder. He is listening to old tapes of himself, recorded when he was young and already considered his life worthless. Now he is older and knows for sure. This is what Samuel Beckett calls "progress."

Some have called Beckett the last of the original modernists (he died in 1989) and his "Krapp's Last Tape" a minimalist and modernist classic. Some others might ask: what is it about Irish writers once they're older than thirty? How morose do we have to get? How much whiskey can we allow ourselves to drink? How little motion can we make in our lives, except to drink more whiskey and mourn our mothers and our wasted talents?

A question might also be asked about how a production company can have the chutzpah to charge full price for a 45-minute show?


The San Francisco Theater Blog Awards Division awards "Krapp's Last Tape" One Star with a BANGLE of PRAISE. Krapp might have earned a second star if he'd eaten that second banana. The BANGLE is for the sheer audacity of the longest fadeout in theater history. The lights went out over Europe faster than that light bulb over Krapp's desk. Please bear in mind that our minimum rating for a recommendation is Three Stars. You have been warned.

"Krapp's Last Tape"
Exit on Taylor Theater
277 Taylor Street, San Francisco
Through June 21

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Are there any ratings less than ☼? That's what this "review" deserves, written by an obviously brain dead person.