The LA Weekly gave a fairly positive review (you have to scroll downa a bit to find it) to the City Garage’s production of RHINOCEROS, Eugene Ionesco’s 1958 satire about a town’s population metamorphing into the titular animals:
In manner and acting approach, Troy Dunn’s lead character, Berenger, is out on his own, a soft-spoken method actor in a world of stark puppets. He’s a stand-in for Ionesco — and us — as the townsfolk benignly capitulate to thick-skinned, dull-witted conformity. Ionesco wrote this after having observed the French embrace of the Nazis, and all of the lunatic rationalizations of that embrace passing for logic. [Director Frederique] Michel shrewdly keeps Nazis and other rabid defenders of homeland security at arm’s length in a production that’s simply about the cost of being different. Though much of Ionesco’s satire is now pedantic and overwritten, the core idea, like this production, contains a horror that borders on tragedy…
The subject matter may not sound much like what we usually cover in Hollywood Gothique, but Ionesco’s play – with its non-conformist gradually loosing his individuality and being subsumed into the group identity – is the archetype for everything from INVASION OF THE BODY SNATCHERS to NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD.
- Location: City Carage – 1340 1/2 Fourth St., Santa Monica, (310) 319-9939. Performances are on Friday, July 13 at 8pm, Saturday, July 14 at 8pm, and Sunday, July 15 at 5:30pm.