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Wakey, Wakey is playing at the Signature Theatre located at 480 West 42nd Street. It runs one hour fifteen minute with no intermission. The play closes on March 19, 2017.
Will Eno is the playwright. His play, Thom Pain (based on nothing) was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize for Drama in 2005. Will and the ensembles of The Open House and The Realistic Jones won a Drama Desk Award Special Award in 2014 ”For two extraordinary casts and one impressive playwright”.
Christine Jones is the scenic designer. She won a Tony Award for American Idiot (2010) and was nominated for a Tony Award for Spring Awakening (2007).
Michael Krass is the costume designer. He was nominated for three Tony Awards for Noises Off (2016), Machinal (2014) and The Constant Wife (2006).Michael was nominated for two Drama Desk awards for The Rehearsal (1997) and Entertaining Mr. Jones (2004).
January LaVoy is known for her role as Noelle Ortiz on ABC daytime drama One Life to Live.
Michael Emerson played Harold Finch in Person of Interest from 2011-2016. He won a Prime Time Emmy for The Practice (2001) and Lost (2009). He was nominated for a Prime Time Emmy for Lost (2010, 2008 and 2007).
The set is almost bare, to the right is a door and a pine tree is on either side. The left side is a big screen. Boxes and piles of clothes are on the floor.
The lights go out, when they come back on Guy (Michael Emerson) is on his stomach shirtless, he raises himself saying I thought I had more time. Blackout, when the lights come on again Guy is now in a wheelchair.
He talks to the audience about things. Guy has file cards and says something he has on the card out loud. He goes into detail about it. For example he tells the audience to think of someone alive or dead who nudged you in some way that got you to where you are now, to visualize them. Another has figs on it and how good they were for you. Some of the things make you laugh.
When Guy gets of the wheel chair he looks for the remote control. He clicks on different images on the screen to the left one is a video of different animals screaming. One picture is of a cafeteria, he said it for the patients in the hospital who are terminally ill.
Lisa (January Lavoy) come in his room and sits next to him. She is his caretaker. At one point she asks him if he would like a fortune cookie or just the fortune. He refuses it. The play close with him dying, light go out. When they come back on images flash on the screen, a strobe light flash, bubbles come down and so do balloons. The women next to me say it stands for joy. When you leave there are baskets on stage saying help yourself. When I got there all that was left were fortune cookie bracelets saying animals another nudge, nudge. I took the ball for a friend’s dog. Outside the theatre were plates with figs and cake and tootsie roll pops.
I left the play I confused as to what had just happened.
When I sat down in the subway car I read the printing on the ball. It said “Think of things you’re grateful for. Take a few good breaths. Squeeze this thing”. I realize then that Guy was dying, he was sharing his ideas of the things he should have done in his lifetime. He was encouraging the audience to do some of those things. The ending was the celebration of his life and the audience was to celebrate it too with food.
It is a shame it wasn’t made a little clearer. I wasn’t the only one confused. There were times I could not hear the actors.
Review by Rozanna Radakovich