Dianne Wiest shows off her stellar acting chops in ‘Happy Days’ at the Mark Taper Forum now playing through June 30, 2019
I recently had the pleasure of seeing Academy Award winner Dianne Wiest (Hannah and Her Sisters, Bullets Over Broadway) portray the very unique and challenging role of Winnie in Samuel Beckett’s absurd and intriguing play Happy Days at the Mark Taper Forum in Los Angeles. What was most unusual and surprising about this role is that Wiest spends the entire play buried in a hole in the ground which means that her voice, mannerisms, acting and comedic timing have to be on point, and they are!
The play centers around Winnie and the fact that her husband Willie (played by Michael Rudko) is increasingly out of her reach. Throughout the entire play, the earth itself is literally threatening to swallow her whole, but it is Winnie’s buoyant optimism that keeps her alive and present in this absurdly funny and moving portrait of the human spirit. Winnie epitomizes an empowered female by channeling an upbeat attitude, witty repartee and unimaginable joy in the face of tragedy.
This unusual and esoteric play felt very metaphoric and Shakespearean to me. It is the kind of play that on the surface seems odd and peculiar but when you take a closer look and analyze its message, it is really portraying the timeless and relatable human struggle for happiness, connection, meaningfulness and love. Bravo to Dianne Wiest for taking on such a challenging role and showing us why she is an award winning actress!
‘Happy Days’ is playing at the Mark Taper Forum in Downtown LA now through June 30, 2019. You can get tickets HERE
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What an interesting concept for a play! I would have liked to see it, but your descriptions are a fine substitute. By your description, the production of the play should be wrapped up by now. I hope they do a production in NYC sometime!