WAITING ON GODOT and OEDIPUS GOES TO HOLLYWOOD, Pantechnicon Artworks Productions, at Live Bait Theater. The story of a restaurant customer named Godot who drives waiters crazy because he can't decide what to order, Waiting on Godot is a cute idea that grows tiresome even before its 15 minutes are over, thanks in part to a rather lackluster production and shoddily executed lighting cues. At least this flimsy Beckett parody lowers our expectations, so the hypnotic, provocative weirdness of Carson Becker's Oedipus Goes to Hollywood comes as a complete surprise.
Becker's quasi sequel follows the storied Theban king as he wanders from Greece through the California desert to Tinseltown via surreal monologues and scenes interspersed with experimental short films directed by local filmmaker Eric Pot. It's not a play so much as a trippy series of evocative visual and aural images chronicling the progression of drama from Greek theater to modern cinema and the devolution of politics from ancient Greek society to our current hyper-alienating technological one. It's hard to pinpoint what Becker is after in all this, but it's engaging to spend a couple of hours trying to figure out this dramatic mind screw.
True, the theater and film sections don't always meld gracefully, several passages in the script don't make sense, and Bruce Vieira's over-the-top Eric Bogosian-meets-Oedipus performance relies too much on slapstick humor about the blind. But the language and innovation in this production establish author Becker, filmmaker Pot, and director Amy Pigott as talents worth watching. I suggest you arrive at this evening of one-acts about 15 minutes late.