Theatre Review: THE BALD SOPRANO with The Idiopathic Ridiculopathy Consortium

It has only been three years since The Idiopathic Ridiculopathy Consortium last mounted Eugene Ionesco’s The Bald Soprano.  This classic absurdist comedy lends itself to this because it’s such a game of wordsmanship.  Director, producer, actor Tina Brock in her notes talks about reimagining the way we use language and how it has changed noticeably in the last three years.  Her production captures the essence of Ionesco while giving it a contemporary relevance.

The play is set in 60’s England.  The costumes would be at home in Austin Powers.  Erica Hoelscher’s costume design serves the actors to give them a specific and unified time and place.  Tina Brock’s set and sound design add the character and sparsity often found in Ionesco’s work.  It keeps the focus where it belongs – on the actors.

Director Brock has assembled a worthy and committed cast to fashion her interpretation of the playwright’s words.  The show opens with the Smiths played by Brock and Bob Schmidt who are joined later by the Martins played by Sonja Robson and John Zak.  The skill of these actors allows them to create four funny, yet very different characters.  They are joined by the maid, Mary played with subtle hilarity by Tomas Dura.  Finally, they are visited by the Fire Chief played with great fun by Carlos Forbes.

Another plus to this production is its ability to make Ionesco’s seemingly random words make sense to someone experiencing it for the first time.  My wife who joined me totally enjoyed the play and laughed loudly at all the right spots.  The Idiopathic Ridiculopathy Consortium is a unique gift to the city’s theater community.  It takes on many of the classics that other theaters label as not commercially viable.  In addition, they do them well.

The Bald Soprano only plays until February 16th, so try and take advantage of this fine production being performed at the lovely and charming Bethany Mission Gallery where you can peruse the unique art and eclectic collections while waiting for the show.  For tickets click here!

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