Second Thought Theatre\'s \"The Lesson\"

Loop Review: The Lesson

Second Thought schools us on how to do Ionesco right.

published Saturday, March 5, 2011

Keeping in line with the theme of “fringe” theater, Second Thought Theatre brings an original Eugene Ionesco’s absurdist one-act, The Lesson, to the Out of the Loop Festival.

Based around the simple premise of a professor (David Lugo) providing tutoring to a young pupil (Anastasia Munoz), The Lesson follows a similar path to most of Ionesco’s work, focusing on the fallacies of human communication, the impossibility of ideology and the ever-present pain of living.

Second Thought fully embraces the absurd, anti-theater nature of Ionesco’s work in the performers’ characterizations. Lugo disappears inside the painfully restrained yet innocently menacing professor. Abigail Herring, as the professor’s maid is a psycho-sexual monster hottie, serving as the professor’s caretaker in more ways than simply doing the dishes.  And Munoz’s pupil is the embodiment of anti-theater, deftly playing with Ionesco’s intentionally liberal use of non sequiturs before hurdling uncontrollably towards mortality in the play’s shocking conclusion.

Director Mac Lower’s stage design and specific distribution between real and pantomimed props is deceptively simple. What at first seems like merely abstract elements contributing to an abstract story turn out to be a grisly exclamation point.

Ultimately, Ionesco isn’t for everyone. But he should be. His control over and deep understanding of language and its natural absurdities is unparalleled. And though his blending of comedy with tragedy can be unsettling to an unsuspecting audience, it is perhaps the most accurate representation of the human condition ever captured on the stage. Because for all of theater’s focus on social realism, Ionesco’s acceptance of the inherently flawed nature of human communication and society is the truest reality we’re most afraid to hear.

Second Thought has given The Lesson the kind of treatment it deserves, continually keeping an eye on the anti-theater notions of Ionesco while maintaining an engrossing and entertaining story. For true fans of theater, this is a must-see.

◊ Click the calendar link above to see future performances for The Lesson, which plays in the Addison Theatre Centre's Studio Theatre. View a full Out of the Loop Fringe Festival schedule hereThanks For Reading

Click or Swipe to close
Loop Review: The Lesson
Second Thought schools us on how to do Ionesco right.
by Kris Noteboom

Share this article on Facebook
Tweet this article
Share this article on Google+
Share this article via email
Click or Swipe to close
views on theater, dance, classical music, opera and comedy performances
news & notes
reports from the local performing arts scene
features & interviews
who and what are moving and shaking in the performing arts scene
season announcements
keep up with the arts groups' upcoming seasons
listen to interviews with people in the local performing arts scene
media reviews
reviews and stories on performing arts-related film, TV, recordings and books
arts organizations
learn more about the local producing and presenting arts groups
performance venues
learn more about the theaters and spaces where the arts happen
keep up with fabulous ticket giveaways and other promotions
connect to local arts crowdfunding campaigns
post or view auditions and performing arts-related classes, services, jobs and more
about us
info on TheaterJones, our staff, what we do and how to contact us
Click or Swipe to close
First Name:
Last Name:
Date of Birth:
ZIP Code:
Your Email Address:
Click or Swipe to close
Join TheaterJones Around the Web

Follow Us on Twitter

Subscribe to our Youtube Channel

Click or Swipe to close
Search the TheaterJones Archives
Use any or all of the options below to search through all of reviews, interviews, features and special sections. If you are looking for a an event, use the calendar section of this website. This search will not search through the calendar.
Article Title Search:

Description Search:
TheaterJones Contributor:

TheaterJones Section:

Showing on or after:      Showing on or before:  
Click or Swipe to close
We welcome your comments

I am discussing:  

Your Name:
Your Email Adress:

please enter the text below and then click or tap SUBMIT :