Apr 20, 2009
The buzz about the new production of Waiting for Godot is good, and I look forward to seeing it next weekend. Among the things I'm wondering about, though, is how they're pronouncing the title character's name. The best productions I've seen--one at the Matrix in L.A. in 2000, and one a few years back by Dublin's Gate Theatre--honored Beckett's apparent wishes and pronounced it "GOD-oh," with the same first-accent stress as "Pozzo" and "Gogo" (indeed, this Marx Bros.-esque rhythmic affinity is the most reasonable explanation for the similar pronunciation). But, of course, popularly the play is almost invariably referred to in a faux-French pronunciation, roughly "G'Doh," to the point that I feel a little awkward pronouncing it correctly in conversation. (Try it: It sounds weird but gets better with practice.)
This is hardly the most important element of a production of this classic--and I don't even recall how the actors in this production said it--but a friend from out of town I spoke to briefly who'd seen and enjoyed the new Broadway production recently referred to it in passing in the familiar English-class way ("Waiting for G'Doh"), and I didn't get a chance to split hairs with him. I'm curious, that's all.
Posted by Rob Weinert-Kendt at 3:03 PM