THE BIRTHDAY PARTY AT ACT
Pinter was the revolution that mid-century audiences wanted — and for almost 60 years he, along with Samuel Beckett, has stood for an ongoing theatrical revolt against conventional meaning. ACT's by-the-numbers production of his first hit, The Birthday Party, shows how limited that revolution was. There are moments, a second act game of blindman's bluff, the gleeful gangsters McCann and Goldberg, but nothing can compensate for Pinter's lack of dramatic and philosophical force. The void is always empty.