It's a truncated play, and we figure we'll give it a truncated review, despite the fact that our enthusiasm for this new work playing at the Boxcar Theatre (Natoma near 6th) is huge. Eugene Ionesco's early 60s French-absurdist work Rhinoceros in which a bunch of townspeople morph into rhinoceroses over three acts, gets a compressed and experimental adaptation at the Boxcar called, simply, Rhino, directed by Evren Odcikin. The production features four characters playing just a handful of roles, one of which is Ionesco himself, who speaks most of his lines from the playwright's own journals. And the audience? Well, you're standing for the duration of the 45-minute piece as the action unfolds in different corners of the room.
The original work is a dark and comical play, meant as a fairly heavy-handed metaphor about the German occupation of France. But Rhino is fresh and lively collaboration, with especially funny and engaging performances by Erin Gilley (as both a BBC reporter and 'the cat lady') and Ross Pasquale (as Ionesco). There are elements of movement and dance, and some excellent sound design, and honestly we don't think we need to see the three-act original ever again.
Rhino plays Wednesday-Saturday until May 29th. Get tickets here.