Eugene Ionesco's Rhinoceros begins galumphing down Chicago's North Broadway May 12, thanks to National Pastime Theater, which is presenting the absurdist satire through July 12.
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.
National Pastime Theater, whose mission is to combat passive entertainments for jaded theatergoers, will use Dexter Bullard's translation of Ionesco's play, thus drawing references not only to Fascist Germany but to modern mechanization and global assimilation.
Starring in Rhinoceros are Dominic Conti, Richard Cotovsky, David Storms Denman, Candis Hacker, Michael D. Hargrove, Arch Harmon, Sean Judge, Robin Margolis, Mechelle Moe and Anthony Wills. Laurence Bryan directs the piece, which uses multimedia elements "with special help from Howard Greenblatt of the Brookfield Zoo."
Other plays by Ionesco include The Chairs and The Bald Soprano. For tickets ($12-$15) and information on Rhinoceros call (773) 327-7077.
-- By David Lefkowitz and Sean McGrath,