Wednesday, October 3, 2018

OLD CLOWN WANTED review




Ionesco meets Beckett in this delightfully enigmatic comedy inspired by a 1970 Federico Fellini film. It’s at an open-call theatre audition – or is it - where three former circus stars are vying for a job. Time has passed but memories of the glory days still throb in their hearts. They had performed together many years before and now, taken back in time, their circus act comes to life. These three marvelous performers transform from decrepit oldsters to their youthful past selves but rivalry, that old show-biz demon, humorously arises and causes conflict.

Alan Abelew as Niccolo is cleverly devious but sadly vulnerable; Jose A. Garcia as Filippo is a delightful nag but has a tender heart beneath, and Beth Hogan as Peppino, the classic actress, hilariously takes one-up-man-ship to a new level. All are superbly clownish performers who personify the hidden heartbreak under greasepaint and funny red noses. The ending is wonderfully ambiguous and hardly what was expected. Or was it? Go and see for yourself.

By Romanian-French playwright Matei Vi┼čniec, translated by Jeremy Lawrence, and directed by Romanian-born Florinel Fatulescu.

At Odyssey Theatre, 2055 S. Sepulveda Blvd, West LA. (310) 477-2055 or OdysseyTheatre.com.

Photos by Enci.

Also featured in the October issue of Not Born Yesterday.