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Posts Tagged ‘Exit the King’

Department of Pocket Guides: Fiorillo’s Must-See Independently Produced Shows

Posted September 3rd, 2015

901-Nowhere-Street_Sam-Tower-Ensemble-681x1024
Over at Philadelphia Magazine‘s “Ticket,” Victor Fiorillo rounds up nine independently produced can’t-miss Fringe Festival shows. Spoiler, I will list them, but go visit “Ticket” to see why Victor says you need to go:

901 Nowhere Street

Andy: A Popera

Purgatory

100

Exit the King

Damned Dirty Apes!

The Empty Air and Animina

It’s So Learning

The Shoplifters

Like Pokemon, gotta catch ’em all!

Tonight! Idiopathic Ridiculopathy Consortium Opens “Exit the King”

Posted September 1st, 2015
The Royal Scam: (clockwise from left): Patricia Durante as Queen Marguerite, Robb Hutter as King Berenger, Anna Lou Hearn as Queen Marie, Jenna Kuerzi as Juliette in Eugene Ionesco's classic.  Not pictured: Susan Giddings as The Doctor, Bob Schmidt as The Guard. Photo by Johanna Austin.

The Royal Scam: (clockwise from left): Patricia Durante as Queen Marguerite, Robb Hutter as King Berenger, Anna Lou Hearn as Queen Marie, Jenna Kuerzi as Juliette in Eugene Ionesco’s classic. Not pictured: Susan Giddings as The Doctor, Bob Schmidt as The Guard.
Photo by Johanna Austin.

One of my favorite groups of absurdists (and the one that gives me the greatest problems with proofreading) is back! Tonight, the Idiopathic Ridiculopathy Consortium returns to preview its latest dive into the absurd with Exit the King. The play opens Wednesday, September 2 and runs through September 20.

First staged on Broadway in 1968, New York Times critic Clive Barnes called Exit the King a “masterpiece . . . incomparably, Ionesco’s greatest work.” Exit the King tells the story of megalomaniacal ruler whose incompetence has left his country in near ruin. Despite the efforts of the Queen and the loyal members of his court to help him reconcile his remaining time, he refuses to relinquish control, attend to matters at hand and make peace with his destiny. The play saw few productions in the 40 years following its 1968 premiere until a stunning Broadway production in 2009, directed by Neil Armfield, featuring Geoffrey Rush in the lead role for which he won the Tony Award for Best Actor. The critically-acclaimed revival also featured performers Susan Sarandon, William Sadler, Lauren Ambrose, Andrea Martin and Brian Hutchison.

Exit the King was conceived during a period of illness when the author was consumed with fears of death. The playwright’s inspiration was borne from a childhood obsession that one could avoid being sick and simply live forever: “I told myself that one could learn to die, and that I could learn to die, that one can also help other people to die. This seems to me to be the most important thing we can do, since we’re all of us dying men who refuse to die. This play is an attempt at an apprenticeship in dying.”

Watch the beautiful cast pose below, while thinking about how to die lively, and think about which show you’re going to hit up. (Pro tip: opening night (Wednesday, September 2, aka tomorrow) has “wine and such.”)

Exit the King preview is tonight at 7:30 pm ($10-15). Opening night is tomorrow at 7:30 pm ($20-25; 9:00 party), and then runs Tuesdays through Saturdays at 7:30 pm and Sundays at 2:30 pm, through September 20. All shows at Walnut Street Theatre Independence Studio on 3, 825 Walnut Street, Philadelphia. Tickets here.