Eugene Ionesco's Rhinoceros will cease its ferocious gallumphing Dec. 5, at Off-Off-Broadway's Jean Cocteau Repertory.
The production, along with Jean-Paul Sartre's existentialist masterpiece No Exit (which ended Oct. 23), is part of a mini-festival of modern French drama sponsored by the Florence Gould Foundation.
Rhinoceros, tells of Berenger (a role made famous by Zero Mostel), a fellow who notices that everyone in the world is transforming into a rhinoceros. Berenger fights to remain a human being while everyone around him is turning green and leathery. The play, recently revived by Off-Broadway's Valiant Theatre Company, has been called a metaphor for man's struggle to remain an individual in the face of mass hysteria. Eve Adamson directs the piece at Cocteau Rep.
Rhinoceros is currently in rep with Joe Orton's dark farce Loot, playing through Feb. 20, 1999. Directed by Scott Shattuck, the comedy tells of a son who needs to dump stolen money into his mother's casket.
Also scheduled for the 1998-99 Cocteau Rep season:
Caesar and Cleopatra, by George Bernard Shaw, directed by Robert Hupp (Jan. 15-Mar. 26, 1999, opens Jan. 17, 1999). GBS' romantic drama tells of the conqueror falling for Egyptian woman-child, Cleopatra. Winterset, Maxwell Anderson's 1935 verse drama, to be staged by Eve Adamson (Mar. 12-May 9, 1999, opens Mar. 14). Loosely based on the Sacco & Vanzetti case, the play tells of a son hoping to avenge the execution of his innocent dad.
A sixth play to end the season will be announced in the winter.
For information on Jean Cocteau Repertory's production of Eugene Ionesco's Rhinoceros (through Dec. 5), or Joe Orton's Loot (through Feb. 20) , call (212) 677-0060.
-- By Sean McGrath,