“When do celebrities ever get hungry?”
It’s a simple question, but a profound one that writer, director and actor Richard Lucas began to ponder. Everywhere a celebrity goes, Lucas thought, every need is catered to. But what if a celebrity actually had to wait? The quandary sparked the image of two rock icons, U2’s Bono and The Edge, sitting in Bono’s castle, waiting for the pizza guy.
That’s when Bono met Beckett.
Lucas turned the concept into a parody of Samuel Beckett’s absurdist classic Waiting for Godot. In Lucas’s twist, Bono orders a pizza in hopes of getting back in touch with the Common Man. “God on Earth [Bono] is waiting for a common person,” Lucas explains. The Edge, however, doesn’t share Bono’s desire to reconnect to his working class roots. “He doesn’t want to be judged.”
With Lucas playing Bono and Curt Collier as The Edge, the piece was performed at Serial Killers, the weekly sketch competition at Sacred Fools Theater in Los Angeles. One sketch turned into two and then Lucas “dove into Waiting for Godot” and created Bono and The Edge Waiting for Godomino’s, a one-act play. Jeff Blumberg joined the cast as Lucky and Bruno Oliver took on the role of Domingo who, Lucas says, “represents the 1 percent of the 1 percent.”
Waiting for Godomino’s premiered at the 2017 Hollywood Fringe Festival, where it won rave reviews and was nominated for Best Comedy, and has been performed around Southern California as well as in San Francisco and Las Vegas. Hailed by critics as “inventive, clever, cool and classy” (NoHo Arts District) and “delightfully absurd” (Las Vegas Tribune), it comes to Namba Performing Arts Space this weekend.
“The moment I heard ‘Godot’ and ‘pizza’ used in the same sentence, I knew this was a great fit for Namba,” says Namba director Jeffrey Willerth.
Lucas made certain to hit certain “sign posts” in Waiting for Godot. That’s not to say one has to be familiar with the Beckett play in order to enjoy Waiting for Godomino’s. “It’s a satire on celebrity culture,” says Lucas. “How many houses do you need? Do the Kardashians have any internal conflict?” In the play, Bono goes on to wonder, “Is there no value in suffering?”
A question Lucas hopes audiences will ask of themselves is one he asks himself: “What would I be like?” Is it a given that celebrity would corrupt anyone? Lucas doesn’t promise any answers, just “a lot of thoughts that come at you” and the hope that audiences will leave with “a genuine ear-to-ear grin.”
Bono and The Edge Waiting for Godomino’s, Feb. 15-16 at Namba Performing Arts Space, 47 S. Oak St., Ventura. For more information call (805) 628-9250 or visit nambaarts.com.