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IONESCOPADE OFF-BROADWAY REVIEWS
Opening Night: February 2, 2012
Synopsis: York Theatre Company presents a new look at this entertainment based on the works of the prolific and influential absurdist playwright Eugene Ionesco. Plays, playlets and poetry by this master of the absurd transport us into a zany musical vaudeville, where humor is the antidote to the world's realities.
NEW YORK TIMES REVIEW:
"A comic musical revue inspired by the works of Eugène Ionesco is not as terrible an idea as it sounds."
"Part of the York Theatre’s season-long celebration of forgotten Off Broadway musicals, this 1974 curio is a series of songs, sketches and scenes based on Eugène Ionesco’s work. The idea of pairing the absurdist playwright’s satirical words and bleak worldview with the let-me-entertain-you ethos of vaudeville sounds intriguing, but this hodgepodge of hokum and headiness is about as graceful as a stampede of rhinos."
"It only goes to show you what a wacky world we're living in when the bizarre shenanigans Eugene Ionesco created more than half a century ago now seem ordinary. The French-Romanian playwright was a pioneer in the theater of the absurd, presenting comedies with outlandishly implausible scenarios, such as people turning into rhinoceroses, an entire British family with the same name, and mobs adoring a headless dictator. These kooky elements were designed to satirize what Ionesco saw as dangerous political and social trends, exposing them to ridicule. But today, with "Pokémon"-quoting pizza executives running for president and talent-free gold diggers becoming millionaires on reality TV, Ionesco's nutsy proceedings can appear positively tame."
Nancy Anderson and Leo Ash Evens
Photo by Carol Rosegg.
True absurdist musicals are few and far between, and you’ll only need a trip to the York Theatre Company to be reminded of exactly why that is. The York’s new production of Ionescopade is something of a train wreck, but only of model trains, which makes it alternately fun and frustrating. In fact, much like the works of its namesake, Eugene Ionesco, it’s half deadly serious and half overly buoyant — the biggest flaw in this mounting is that you never feel that either its director-choreographer, Bill Castellino, or its cast are aware it’s supposed to be both at the same time."
"Let’s assume that the time is ripe to resurrect Ionescopade, the wild and wacky vaudeville-styled revue that Robert Allan Ackerman conceived in the mid 1970s to celebrate the absurdist canon of French-Romanian playwright Eugene Ionesco. As mentioned by The York Theater Company’s producing artistic director James Morgan in his opening pre-show greeting (always a treat), the plays by Ionesco “have a resonance in the world today.” Indeed they do, as delightfully and devilishly exemplified in this utterly loony entertainment that was originally produced Off-Broadway in 1974."
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