The father of Theatre of the Absurd is currently getting a lengthy tribute in New York that's just added another two weeks. Twenty-seven Off and Off-Off-Broadway theatres joined forces for the Ionesco Festival which began Sept. 6 and was to end Dec. 1 but will now finish Dec. 16.
A combination of 39 of the Romanian playwright’s most famous and lesser-known works are on the agenda, including 20 full-length productions.
Highlights include: Rhinoceros (produced by Untitled Theater Company #61); Exit the Kind (Pearl Theatre); a return engagement of Sanctuary Theater’s The Picture; Israel Horovitz’s adaptation of Man With Bags (Looking Glass Theater, extended to Dec. 16); Spanish-language productions of The Future Is in Eggs and Jack, or the Submission (Mexico’s Investigadores del Arte); and The New Tenant and a new translation of The Viscount (Gemini CollisionWorks).
Recent additions include a reading of The Chairs featuring Celeste Holm (Nov. 4 only at the Players Club) and Charles Marowitz's translation of Macbett, a dark-hearted spoof of Shakespeare's Macbeth. Prior to each performance, one of 12 short plays will be staged on a rotating basis, including a translation of Conversation Exercises, a French textbook Ionesco wrote for American students.
Born in Romania, Eugene Ionesco (1912-1994) moved to Paris in 1938. His work focused on the struggle of people to survive in a society that he thought created barriers between them. Performances will be spread out across 13 Manhattan theatres. Tickets are $15, except for Exit the King ($28-35). For more information and a complete schedule, call (212) 387-2043 or visit www.ionescofestival.com.
— by Diane Snyder and David Lefkowitz