Happy Days

Critics

LemonMeter

100 %

Reviews: 12

Audience

LemonMeter

Reviews: 0

Wiest (Hannah and Her Sisters, Bullets Over Broadway) plays Winnie in Samuel Beckett's masterpiece Happy Days. With her husband Willie (Michael Rudko) increasingly out of reach and the earth itself threatening to swallow her whole, Winnie's buoyant optimism shields her from the harsh glare of the inevitable in this absurdly funny and boundlessly compassionate portrait of the human spirit.

Reviews

Avatar

When life starts to feel monotonous, when you start to feel alone in your marriage, when the earth begins to pile up around you and you fear you might be buried alive, remember the gun in your purse.

sweet - Kelsey Goeres - The SoCal Review - ...read full review


Avatar

Somewhere in that struggle, the best productions of Beckett perform a mystical alchemy that turns that emptiness into meaning, chaos into connection.

sweet - Anthony Byrnes - KCRW - ...read full review


Leigh Kennicott

Fifteen years after World War 2, Beckett still focused on the futility of existence that war—and French philosophers— engendered.  “What’s it all for?” He seemed to ask. In HAPPY DAYS Winnie (Dianne Weist), the protagonist first buried up to her waist and then to her neck in desolate terrain, asks us to pnder the same question. Her existence seems inexorably tied to husband Willie (Mark Ridko) who rarely, if ever, acknowledges her. As Winnie’s cheery facade gradually falters, we begin to understand her as a metaphor for our own lives.  His existential view of life remains constant, though. In HAPPY DAYS Beckett found, maybe not THE answer, but AN answer.

sweet - Leigh Kennicott - ShowMag - ...read full review


Shari Barrett

Winnie is considered modern drama’s pinnacle female role, with Wiest a wonder in presenting her endlessly fascinating spirit of cheery resourcefulness and unassuming grace in the face of inevitable oblivion. It’s no wonder director James Bundy, Dean of Yale School of Drama and Artistic Director of Yale Repertory Theatre (producing company of the play) chose the character-driven and attention-grabbing Wiest to portray the almost constantly speaking and self-examining character, whom Wiest refers to as “Hamlet” for women.

sweet - Shari Barrett - Broadway World - ...read full review


Travis Michael Holder

With our planet today crashing toward destruction through climate change as we all helplessly endure the destructive reign of a “leader” more interested in his legacy than our planet, Samuel Beckett’s 1961 absurdist masterpiece eerily reinforces his chillingly prophetic, humorously bleak pronouncements of the gradual disintegration of all living creatures struggling for fresh air and daily sustenance on this unforgiving planet. For director James Bundy, guiding an actor as brilliant as Dianne Wiest has inspired something new and fresh and truly remarkable.

sweet - Travis Michael Holder - Ticketholders LA - ...read full review


Avatar

The 2016 Yale Rep production of the simultaneously hilarious and depressing Happy Days is now at the Mark Taper Forum under the direction of James Bundy. This well-executed rendering is one you won’t be able to forget. - RECOMMENDED

sweet - Taylor Kass - Stage Raw - ...read full review


Avatar

Scenic designer Izmir Ickbal uses almost the entire stage with his brilliant, brooding hill. It seems to have a life of its own. Costume designer Alexae Visel’s and lighting designer Stephen Strawbridge’s work is equally vibrant and vital. And director James Bundy’s sure hand is as invisible as it is powerful.

sweet - Samuel Garza Bernstein - Stage and Cinema - ...read full review


Jordan Young

This Yale Repertory Theatre production is a must-see for serious theatregoers, so rarely is the piece performed.

sweet - Jordan Young - Theatre Reviews - ...read full review


Avatar

Dianne Wiest is enthralling. She’s warm, witty, wry. She has flawless comedic timing and a voice she plies like a musical instrument to make us listen to every note.

sweet - Dany Margolies - Daily News - ...read full review


Avatar

Under the skilled hand of director James Bundy – an old hand at helming HAPPY DAYS from his earlier 2016 stint directing Diane Wiest at the Yale Repertory Theatre – this Los Angeles 2019 resurrection of HAPPY DAYS is filled with humor and warmth. Wiest does a brilliant job of portraying Winnie in all her innocent blindness and repressed longing. This is an actor’s dream role, and Wiest takes full advantage of the part.

sweet - Elaine Mura - LA Splash - ...read full review


Avatar

In Samuel Beckett’s Happy Days, Dianne Wiest’s enviable range and talent captivates the audience and keeps us firmly in her grasp throughout this two-act play, which is no small feat considering the fact that when we meet her, she’s buried up to her waist in earth and has little to hide behind save a few props and only one other actor to work off of that doesn’t even make eye contact with her, until the end.

sweet - Christine Deitner - The Theatre Times - ...read full review


Avatar

This is one of theater’s most difficult roles: an hour and 40 minutes of text spoken by one person, with little input from the other actor — or reference points of any kind. And there’s not just spoken text. Beckett inserted extensive stage directions indicating Winnie’s movements, her pauses, how the lines should be delivered.

Wiest handles it all with poise, precision and empathy.

sweet - Daryl H. Miller - LA Times - ...read full review


Avatar

When life starts to feel monotonous, when you start to feel alone in your marriage, when the earth begins to pile up around you and you fear you might be buried alive, remember the gun in your purse.

sweet - Kelsey Goeres - The SoCal Review - ...read full review


Avatar

Somewhere in that struggle, the best productions of Beckett perform a mystical alchemy that turns that emptiness into meaning, chaos into connection.

sweet - Anthony Byrnes - KCRW - ...read full review


Leigh Kennicott

Fifteen years after World War 2, Beckett still focused on the futility of existence that war—and French philosophers— engendered.  “What’s it all for?” He seemed to ask. In HAPPY DAYS Winnie (Dianne Weist), the protagonist first buried up to her waist and then to her neck in desolate terrain, asks us to pnder the same question. Her existence seems inexorably tied to husband Willie (Mark Ridko) who rarely, if ever, acknowledges her. As Winnie’s cheery facade gradually falters, we begin to understand her as a metaphor for our own lives.  His existential view of life remains constant, though. In HAPPY DAYS Beckett found, maybe not THE answer, but AN answer.

sweet - Leigh Kennicott - ShowMag - ...read full review


Shari Barrett

Winnie is considered modern drama’s pinnacle female role, with Wiest a wonder in presenting her endlessly fascinating spirit of cheery resourcefulness and unassuming grace in the face of inevitable oblivion. It’s no wonder director James Bundy, Dean of Yale School of Drama and Artistic Director of Yale Repertory Theatre (producing company of the play) chose the character-driven and attention-grabbing Wiest to portray the almost constantly speaking and self-examining character, whom Wiest refers to as “Hamlet” for women.

sweet - Shari Barrett - Broadway World - ...read full review


Travis Michael Holder

With our planet today crashing toward destruction through climate change as we all helplessly endure the destructive reign of a “leader” more interested in his legacy than our planet, Samuel Beckett’s 1961 absurdist masterpiece eerily reinforces his chillingly prophetic, humorously bleak pronouncements of the gradual disintegration of all living creatures struggling for fresh air and daily sustenance on this unforgiving planet. For director James Bundy, guiding an actor as brilliant as Dianne Wiest has inspired something new and fresh and truly remarkable.

sweet - Travis Michael Holder - Ticketholders LA - ...read full review


Avatar

The 2016 Yale Rep production of the simultaneously hilarious and depressing Happy Days is now at the Mark Taper Forum under the direction of James Bundy. This well-executed rendering is one you won’t be able to forget. - RECOMMENDED

sweet - Taylor Kass - Stage Raw - ...read full review


Avatar

Scenic designer Izmir Ickbal uses almost the entire stage with his brilliant, brooding hill. It seems to have a life of its own. Costume designer Alexae Visel’s and lighting designer Stephen Strawbridge’s work is equally vibrant and vital. And director James Bundy’s sure hand is as invisible as it is powerful.

sweet - Samuel Garza Bernstein - Stage and Cinema - ...read full review


Jordan Young

This Yale Repertory Theatre production is a must-see for serious theatregoers, so rarely is the piece performed.

sweet - Jordan Young - Theatre Reviews - ...read full review


Avatar

Dianne Wiest is enthralling. She’s warm, witty, wry. She has flawless comedic timing and a voice she plies like a musical instrument to make us listen to every note.

sweet - Dany Margolies - Daily News - ...read full review


Avatar

Under the skilled hand of director James Bundy – an old hand at helming HAPPY DAYS from his earlier 2016 stint directing Diane Wiest at the Yale Repertory Theatre – this Los Angeles 2019 resurrection of HAPPY DAYS is filled with humor and warmth. Wiest does a brilliant job of portraying Winnie in all her innocent blindness and repressed longing. This is an actor’s dream role, and Wiest takes full advantage of the part.

sweet - Elaine Mura - LA Splash - ...read full review


Avatar

In Samuel Beckett’s Happy Days, Dianne Wiest’s enviable range and talent captivates the audience and keeps us firmly in her grasp throughout this two-act play, which is no small feat considering the fact that when we meet her, she’s buried up to her waist in earth and has little to hide behind save a few props and only one other actor to work off of that doesn’t even make eye contact with her, until the end.

sweet - Christine Deitner - The Theatre Times - ...read full review


Avatar

This is one of theater’s most difficult roles: an hour and 40 minutes of text spoken by one person, with little input from the other actor — or reference points of any kind. And there’s not just spoken text. Beckett inserted extensive stage directions indicating Winnie’s movements, her pauses, how the lines should be delivered.

Wiest handles it all with poise, precision and empathy.

sweet - Daryl H. Miller - LA Times - ...read full review