I have to say, I never thought I'd see the day that Ionesco's Exit the King would be on Broadway. But apparent it's happening soon, with an all star cast: Geoffrey Rush, Susan Sarandon, Lauren Ambrose, and Andrea Martin. Wow. That's amazing.
The production is an import from Australia, in a version translated by Neil Armfield and Rush and directed by Armfield. Armfield, for those here who are unfamiliar with him, is considered the premiere director in Australia.
I have seen a surprising number of productions of Exit the King (five , I believe). Well, surprising only in that I'm often surprised it is produced. I'm a big fan of Ionesco, of course - I produced the Ionesco Festival in 2001 (follow the link to my terrible website...in retrospect I very much wish I had had a decent web designer - I didn't myself with not much knowledge/capability). I enjoy the play, but I wouldn't put it in my top tier of Ionesco plays, despite the fact that it very much inspired my play The Living Methuselah. In fact, I didn't even realize how much Ionesco's play had inspired mine until I looked at it in retrospect Hopefully still a very different script, but the similarities of a symbolically dying character, a doctor, and some of his relationships with the women around him...well, I'll call it a homage. Philosophically, Methuselah was sort of post-existentialist, so that's not too inaccurate, actually.
Looking at some of the reviews from Australia, it looks as if it's a good production. I have high hopes. And I am very fond of the actors. Can it match the last surprising appearance of Ionesco on Broadway - the Simon McBurney production of The Chairs? It would be difficult. That may qualify as the most satisfying production I've ever seen of Ionesco. And I have never yet seen a satisfying production of Exit the King. But, as I say, I have high hopes.
1 day ago