Waiting for Godot

Jeff is played Lucky Off-Broadway in Waiting for Godot starring Michael Shannon and Paul Sparks at Theater for a New Audience, directed by Arin Arbus. (11/4/23-12/23/23)

Michael Shannon as Estragon
Paul Sparks as Vladimir
Ajay Naidu as Pozzo
Jeff Biehl as Lucky
Toussaint Francois Battiste as a Boy

Michael Shannon, Paul Sparks, Ajay Naidu, Jeff Biehl (photo credit Hollis King)

… Biehl’s Lucky, who pants and strains to the point of drooling under the weight of Pozzo’s baggage. Lucky speaks only once in the play, and when he does, it’s the unstoppable flood of a tyrannized mind, half-broken and half-sharpened by pain — a stream of consciousness churning with nightmarish debris. It’s a milestone speech for an actor, and Biehl pulls it off with sinister force. There’s nothing flighty about his delivery: He sounds stilted and lumpen at first, his tongue long unused — then the wave mounts and crashes. Some Luckys recede into the background for their long stretches without text, but Arbus and Biehl never let us forget this Lucky is there. He’s not a sentimentalized victim or an airy, unbreakable clown. He’s a savagely abused dog, and he will bite.

– Sara Holdren, Vulture – New York Magazine
Jeff Biehl as Lucky (photo credit Hollis King)

Arbus and her actors achieve a dynamic and even heartfelt production of a classic that can easily grow tedious or mechanical. Besides the crackling rapport between Shannon and Sparks, the wraithlike Biehl does wonders with Lucky’s bonkers peroration, a vomit of pseudo-academic gibberish about God and wasting and, um, tennis. This was the first time I saw a performer play the internal logic of the speech, which spirals into demented cries

– David Cote, Observer
Jeff Biehl as Lucky (photo credit Gerry Goodstein)

Creative Team
Samuel Beckett (writer), Arin Arbus (director), Riccardo Hernández (Scenic Design), Susan Hilferty (Costume Design), Chris Akerlind (Lighting Design), Palmer Hefferan (Sound Design), Byron Easley (Choreography), Bill Irwin (Creative Consultant), Andrew Wade (Voice Director), Jon Knust (Properties Supervisor), Jonathan Kalb (Dramaturg), J. David Brimmer (Fight Director), Shane Schnetzler (Production Stage Manager)

Paul Sparks, Toussaint Francois Battiste, Michael Shannon, Jeff Biehl, Ajay Naidu,
Jeff Biehl as Lucky (photo credit Hollis King)