Bonjour City Garagistes,
We have two things to announce this week. First, our City Garage Classic of the week. And then, an exciting new project which we’ll launch on our YouTube channel Thursday, October 22nd.
CG Classic: “Rhinoceros”
This week it’s our production from 2007 of “Rhinoceros” by Eugene Ionesco, translated and adapted by Frederique Michel and Charles Duncombe. It is a great play and, with its anti-authoritarian message, so relevant for our times:
“In Rhinoceros Ionesco startles audiences with a world that erupts in explosive laughter and nightmare anxiety. A rhinoceros inexplicably appears in a small French town, tramping through its streets, alarming its confused residents. Soon there two, then three, until the rhinoceros “movement” invades the life of ordinary citizens and becomes universal as they transform into beasts and learn to “move with the times.” Rhinoceros is a commentary on the seduction of mass-movements. When everyone else around us insists that something is so, how can we disagree, even if it is in direct contradiction to the facts? When “right-thinking people” stampede out of fear, conviction, aggression, or self-righteousness, and insist that no one may think any way differently, do we dare stand in the street to be run down, or is it more prudent, more “reasonable,” to go along with the majority? Only one man resists. “I’m the last man left. And I’m staying that way until the end!”
Here is what the critics had to say:
LA Weekly — GO!
LA Times — RECOMMENDED!
KCRW 89.9 — “…getting it up on stage is a valuable reminder of how theatre was once the place for writers to be daring and stretch an audience’s view of the world and themselves.”
“Frédérique Michel[‘] staging of “Rhinoceros” at City Garage invests Ionesco’s absurdist classic with a heightened sense of whimsy. From the hilarious opening scene in which the actors frolic about to infectiously Gallic music, we realize we’re in for a romp. The dun-colored sets of Charles A. Duncombe’s sunlit production design provide an unobtrusive backdrop for the play’s human cartoons, who move about in a sort of group bustle. The exception to the general purposefulness is Berenger (Troy Dunn), the hapless everyman who recurs in several of Ionesco’s plays. A shambling boozer with “loser” written all over him, Berenger wanders through the crisply syncopated scenes with a telling lack of direction. But when his fellow townspeople transform into rampaging rhinoceroses, Berenger refuses to follow the herd and capitulate to conformity. Of course, Berenger’s heroic inflexibility is the point of the play, a veiled parable of the Nazi scourge. When all about him are becoming beasts, Berenger remains defiantly human.”
Los Angeles Times
It will be showing on our City Garage YouTube channel from 8:00pm this Friday, October 2, through midnight on Wednesday, October 7th.
It’s free to view but we ask people to make a donation if they can through our Chuffed page:
Merci to our donors this week:
Michele and Curt Wittig
Coming Soon – Launching Thursday, October 22nd!
City Garage is launching a Talk Show on our YouTube channel, hosted by one of Los Angeles’ most eminent critics, writers, and editors. Each Thursday he will be talking to theatre makers—playwrights, directors, and other theatre folk—about theatre, politics, and the world. Have something on your mind? Wondering what’s happening to our society and what we can do about it? How does art—theatre especially—make an impact? Suggest questions and topics or interview subjects here. (Link to a place for them to contribute a question or topic)
Wondering who it might be? Watch this! (More to come next week…)
Merci, stay safe, and wear a mask,