In spite of the Neil Simon revival that seems to be in vogue this month, there’s an unusual amount of weirdness going on in OC. Much of it can be found at STAGEStheatre in Fullerton. Eugene Ionesco, absent from the local theatre scene for some time, has a devoted follower in Jesse Runde, whose production of his play, “The Chairs,” opened there this past weekend.
As Theatre of the Absurd goes, this one’s a pretty good intro to the Romanian playwright whose name is synonymous with the genre; it may well delight and baffle you in equal measure. What’s really going on in the home of an odd couple while they fill their living space with chairs, in preparation for a social gathering, is largely up to the viewer to decide.
If this existential satire is ultimately less satisfying than Genet’s “The Balcony,” also currently on the boards at STAGES and seemingly influenced by Ionesco, it’s a mind-bending departure from most OC theatrical offerings.
Jeffrey Rockey and Jessica Lamprinos, both seasoned performers on the storefront scene, have so thoroughly immersed themselves in the world according to Ionesco, they’re likely to catch you off-guard. Runde directs with a flair for the bizarre. Through Feb. 17; call 714-525-4484.
The Segerstrom Center for the Arts in Costa Mesa, not to be outdone, is presenting their second annual Off-Center Festival. It’s an eclectic mix of theatre, music, dance and performance art of the sort often found in Los Angeles, but seldom seen this side of the Orange Curtain.
If you like your theatre on the unpredictable side, I suggest you check out Moving Arts LA’s “The Car Plays,” which opens tonight. This concoction of shorts, conceived by Paul Stein, includes four pieces co-commissioned by South Coast Rep and takes place in cars parked on the SCFTA Arts Plaza. I caught it last year and wouldn’t miss it, rain or shine.
Also on my hit list is Doug Varone and Dancers, whose “Stripped/Dressed” offers a program both in rehearsal and fully staged with costuming and lighting. Other theatrical offerings include Belarus Free Theatre’s “Minsk 2011,” a play about repression and sexuality in Europe’s last dictatorship; and Marc Bamuthi Joseph/Living Word Project’s “Word Becomes Flesh.” Through Feb. 2; call
More from Jordan:
Guirgis’ ‘MoFo’ in Costa Mesa, Genet’s ‘Balcony’ in Fullerton http://www.examiner.com/article/guirgis-mofo-costa-mesa-genet-s-balcony-fullerton
How Laurel and Hardy inspired Beckett’s ‘Waiting for Godot’ http://shar.es/pmI2Z
Samuel Beckett doc on DVD, Glenn Gould doc on Blu-ray & DVD http://exm.nr/jbI5dm
Best of OC Theatre 2012
Academy Award Losers, 1912-1939: Great Performances in the Oscar Hall of Shame, Vol. 1 http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00ARTJGOA
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