You can't fake it when you stage Samuel Beckett's masterpiece. Either you understand how to ride the currents of his script or you don't. Colm O'Reilly as Vladimir, the more urbane of Beckett's two tramps, clearly understands. His soulful eyes alone communicate the bleak subtext. But in this Curious Theatre Branch production he's playing opposite an actor--Beau O'Reilly, his father--who doesn't seem to be listening to him, who seems disengaged from the other performers and from his own character, Estragon. Many of the show's other elements are inspired, however, neutralizing the elder O'Reilly's influence: the set is spare but smart, Stefan Brun's staging is nicely paced, and Jeff Bivens and H.B. Ward give fine performances as Lucky and Pozzo. Through 5/28: Fri-Sat 7 PM, Sun 3 PM, Prop Thtr, 3502-4 N. Elston, 773-267-6660, $15 or "pay what you can."