Manbites Dog Theater Takes Its Final Bows with Will Eno's Wakey, Wakey | Arts

Manbites Dog Theater Takes Its Final Bows with Will Eno's Wakey, Wakey

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Thursday, May 10-Sunday June 10
Manbites Dog Theater, Durham
Various times, $5-$20, www.manbitesdogtheater.org

"We're here to say goodbye," reads the epigraph from Wakey, Wakey that Manbites Dog Theater selected to promote its upcoming production, the Triangle premiere of Will Eno's play. If the brief quotation is unusually profound, it's because it not only cuts to heart of Eno's play about memory, mortality, and letting go, but it also underscores that this is the venerable Durham theater's final production before it closes in June after thirty-one seasons. There will be time for remembrance, so for now, let's linger in the present with this apt, ambitious sendoff. In this 2017 work by a major playwright—Beckett's American heir apparent—a wheelchair-bound man faces the end and reflects on his life with Eno's typical idiosyncrasy and eloquence, a rich character emerging from freewheeling digressions and tangents. Manbites cofounder Jeff Storer directs local stage veteran Derrick Ivey in the role Michael Emerson put such a strong stamp on; Lakeisha Coffey, recently praised by the INDY's Byron Woods for her turn in another two-hander, Bartlett Theater's Gidion's Knot, plays care-worker Lisa.

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