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Posted: Oct. 7, 2012 at 8:10 p.m.
ANN ARBOR - Delivering the first theater performance of the University Musical Society's 2012-2013 season, the Parisian company Theatre de la Ville performs Eugene Ionesco's absurdist classic "Rhinoceros" in Ann Arbor's Power Center for the Performing Arts Thursday-Sunday, Oct. 11-13.
It happens inexplicably: One by one, a man's friends and neighbors turn into rhinoceroses, reducing his town to a perilous wasteland. In this brilliant restaging of Ionesco's absurdist allegory, loneliness and horror consumer the individual who resists a popular movement in which civilians succumb to the collective in its most monstrous, destructive form. Ionesco's indictment of 20th-century totalitarianism retains its sting amid today's ideological climate.
This play is performed in French with English supertitles.
Ionesco is considered a leader of the "Theater of the Absurd." Plays in this style suggest that human existence has no meaning. Playwrights whose work is often characterized in this style also include Samuel Beckett, Jean Genet, Harold Pinter, Tom Stoppard, Friedrich Durrenmatt, Fernando Arrabal, and Edward Albee.
A free, post-performance Q&A with the artists will occur after the Thursday, Oct. 11 performance only. Attendees must have a ticket to attend.
Tickets begin at $18. Tickets are available online at www.ums.org; by phone at 734-764-2538; in person at Michigan League (911 North University Avenue); or at the performance venue beginning 90 minutes before performance start time. Box office hours are Monday-Friday 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Saturday 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., closed Sunday.
Power Center is located at 121 Fletcher Street, Ann Arbor.