Beckett’s one-act about an old man playing back his annual taped birthday diaries walks a fine line between absurdist and tragic; and Krapp himself oscillates between clownish and piteous as he mocks and condemns his past tapes and selves at his desk—in between stumbling to a back room for drinks. Signal’s production knocks it out of the park with the set, cleverly using the black-box space so that the audience of a dozen is stuck deeply in the scene, with Krapp stumbling around us as he attempts to navigate his darkening little world. Vincent L. Lonergan carries the one-man show handily as the shuffling, inflexible, quintessential old fool; and while Aaron Snook’s direction under-emphasizes some of the play’s best jokes, he paces the show perfectly and generates epic pathos in the play’s final moments. (Monica Westin)
At Signal Ensemble Theatre, 1802 West Berenice, (773)347- 1350. Through August 7.