Thursday, February 16, 2012

Ionescopade - not my cup of cafe au lait

I got to see Ionescopade this week thanks to the free tickets through an NYCPlaywrights web site promotion deal. I didn't have high expectations though so it wasn't a huge disappointment. This review at Back Stage pretty much covers the problems with the show. And also Time Out New York. The New York Times finishes it off. Although I find it objectionable that all the reviews give a shout-out to the "comic" song, a little girl mourning her dead cat. That got one of the biggest responses from the audience the night I was there. And I think there are two reasons why people would laugh at a song about a dead cat. First because there was so little in the show that made an emotional connection with the audience that they were all desperate for something human and familiar, and second because many people who aspire to being thought intellectual believe that the mark of an intellectual (not to mention hipster) is to laugh at cruelty and pain.

Also the show was very Frenchy (except for the British bit which was like Monty Python) and very 1950s-eque. Especially the mime part.

The production values were pretty good, and nice costume color co-ordination, but I could have done without all the images of Ionesco's old man face all over the stage facade. Nobody needs to look at grizzled ancient old man faces at twenty times life size.

But my pal Bruce rather liked the show and one of the cast members is an old colleague of his and they got to catch up a little, so that was OK. And hey, at least it was free.