The Wait is Over for A-town’s ‘Waiting for Godot’

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The Acrosstown Repertory Theatre is staging Samuel Beckett’s absurd classic beginning this week. According to director Jessica Arnold, it’s a play that might make you question your very existence.

Pozzo (Esteban Alvarez) has a whimsical encounter with Vladimir (Adam Lishawa) and Estragon (Dean Carvalho) in a scene from Waiting for Godot. That’s Lucky (M. Reagle) face down on the ground. (Photo by Gainesville Downtown).

When playwright Samuel Beckett introduced his tragicomedy Waiting for Godot to audiences in Paris in 1953, it created an uproar in the literary world. The play was so different and intriguing to critics that they coined the phrase “Theater of the Absurd” to describe it and similar plays that followed.

Dean Carvalho (Estragon), left, and Adam Lishawa (Vladimir) reunite onstage in Waiting for Godot. (Photo by Gainesville Downtown)

The minimalist play features two eccentric characters, Vladimir and Estragon, who spend the entire performance under a withered tree on a remote path waiting for the arrival of someone named Godot. While patiently waiting for the play’s namesake to arrive, the two men engage in lively conversations about everything and nothing. They also encounter three other characters.

Beginning this week, the Acrosstown Repertory Theatre presents its own take on Waiting for Godot starring Adam Lishawa as Vladimir and Dean Carvalho as his long-time friend, Estragon. The play is directed by Jessica Arnold.

Performances begin tonight with a $5 preview at 8. Opening Night is Friday at 8. Tickets are $15 for the general public with discounts available for seniors, students with IDs, veterans and active military. The production continues through Feb. 5 with performances on Friday and Saturday nights at 8 and on Sunday afternoons at 2.

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Satanic Sock Puppet Rules Hilarious ‘Hand to God’

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The Hippodrome Theatre’s outrageous stage production, which opens this week, might make you wince or laugh with guilty pleasure. Just be sure to leave the kids at home!

Jason (Jon Kovach) and his sock puppet Tyrone don’t always see eye to eye. (Photo by Gainesville Downtown)

If Tyrone, the foul-mouthed antagonist in the play Hand to God, were a child, his disruptive behavior simply wouldn’t be tolerated. Under normal circumstances, he surely would spend most of his days alone in time-out.

The cast of Hand to God, including evil Tyrone. (Photo by Gainesville Downtown)

But these are not normal circumstances, and Tyrone is not a child. He’s not even human. He’s a sock puppet who speaks his mind without a filter. And, oh, that temper!

In the Hippodrome Theatre’s newest production, which opens Friday night, Tyrone transforms from Elmo cute to Chucky ugly before your very eyes. Whether you grin or grimace at his antics might just reveal the kind of person you are — or at least the mood you’re in at the moment.

“If you were to ask 15 people what they thought the play was about, depending on where we are in our lives, I think you’ll get 15 answers,” said director Lauren Warhol Caldwell. “That’s really great writing. And this is a really smart play.”

Leading up to Opening Night, Hand to God will have preview performances tonight and Thursday at 7. The production continues through Feb. 5 with eight performances a week. Tickets range from $30-$35, with discounts for students, seniors and military. (All tickets for the Tuesday, Jan. 17, show are only $10.) Continue reading

Downtown Clubs, Eateries Ready to Ring In 2017

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Gainesville’s official New Year’s Eve party returns to Bo Diddley Plaza this year, but several clubs and restaurants will also have special celebrations as we say goodbye to 2016.

There will be a full range of food and entertainment options available on Saturday night as downtown Gainesville prepares to ring in the new year.

Most of the activity will be centered around Bo Diddley Plaza, where The Couch Messiahs and Wild Blue Yonder will provide a free concert beginning at 9 p.m. and continuing past midnight.

The Couch Messiahs

Here is a list of New Year’s Eve events in downtown Gainesville:

Downtown Countdown: The Couch Messiahs, a Gainesville-based rock-and-roll band, will pay tribute to the music of The Allman Brothers, The Band, Bob Dylan, Creedence Clearwater Revival, Neil Young and The Rolling Stones during a New Year’s Eve celebration concert at Bo Diddley Plaza, 111 E. University Ave. The evening begins at 9 p.m. with a performance by popular local band Wild Blue Yonder. Downtown Countdown begins at 9 p.m. and continues until midnight, when there will be a countdown to the New Year, along with the sounds of noisemakers, which are passed out to the audience earlier in the evening. The event is sponsored by the City of Gainesville Parks, Recreation and Cultural Affairs Department and WIND-FM. For further info on the concert, read our University & Main blog. Continue reading