Alice Munro

'Beckett 5' at the Odyssey: five plays, two hours, one sinister ending

'Beckett 5' at the Odyssey: five plays, two hours, one sinister ending

Just as the short stories in collections by Anton Chekhov, Flannery O’Connor, Grace Paley and Alice Munro are meant to be savored one small masterpiece at a time and not gobbled up indiscriminately like a box of assorted chocolates picked up at the pharmacy, so too the compact plays of Samuel Beckett can be appreciated only with an unhurried attention to their precisely rendered detail.

The bill of five short works in “Beckett 5,” clocking in at just under two hours at the Odyssey Theatre, certainly rounds out an evening of theater. But plays ought to be measured by the scale of their experience rather than by their duration. As Edward Albee once commented about his playwriting,...

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