If you’re in New York and should find yourself south of Houston, with $25 and 90 minutes to kill some time in the next couple months, we would recommend you skip drinks at Balthazar. Your French Martini will still be waiting at the bar come springtime, but Krapp, 39 , currently playing at SoHo Playhouse, has a limited shelf life, and is well worth your time and sobriety.
Actor Michael Lawrence’s largely autobiographical solo performance is a self-professed “voyeuristic prefiguring of Samuel Beckett’s Krapp’s Last Tape,” and “a deeply personal window on one man’s last moment of youth.” In other words, Lawrence uses the concept of Beckett’s famed monologue to reconsider various periods of his own life, and to reflect upon his desires for the future.
Is he capable of genuinely loving anyone other than himself? Does he wish to sacrifice his personal happiness for his art? Could he even be happy if he were not creating art? In attempting to answer these, and many other questions, Lawrence walks a fine line between self-exploration and self-obsession, but he manages to keep his audience interested and engaged. His insights and anecdotes about both Krapp and himself are variously hilarious and devastating, uplifting and sobering.
All in all, it’s a great piece of theater, deftly directed by George Demas, and impressively executed by its writer and performer. If you are a Beckett aficianado, approaching your own mid-life crisis, or just looking for a way to pass a pleasant evening, we suggest you find your way down to Soho and book a seat before Krapp, 39 makes its exit from the New York theater scene.