Waiting for Godot

Premiering in 1959 on WNTA-TV in New York, the ambitious experiment Play of the Week presented an eclectic mix of plays that, according to series producer Lewis Freedman, “no one else would touch.” As an independently produced series, Play of the Week was not subject to the same McCarthy-inspired scrutiny as network television programs of the era. Thanks to progressive casting decisions by producers such as David Susskind, actor Zero Mostel, who suffered years of unemployment for refusing to testify before the House Committee on Un-American Activities, enjoyed a comeback after being selected for Samuel Beckett's absurdist masterpiece, Waiting for Godot. Mostel and costar Burgess Meredith are keen existential partners in this wry drama of deferred desire and stymied reward. No fan of the tube, Beckett once wrote, "My play wasn't written for this box. My play was written for small men locked in a big space.” Nevertheless, the (fifty-year) wait is over for this small production that's big on meaning.

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