The Idiopathic Ridiculopathy Consortium‘s motto is The IRC: We Bring Good Nothingness to Life. The IRC was founded in 2006 by Tina Brock to bring preserve and present classic and lesser-known works from a collection of authors whose plays share certain basic traits — a group loosely-defined as the “Theater of the Absurd” and includes authors Eugène Ionesco, Samuel Beckett, Harold Pinter, and Edward Albee among others. Their emphasis is on physical productions shared in an intimate setting that that impact audiences by exteriorizing existential anxiety.
More after the jump.
Although their permanent home is at the Walnut Street Theatre Studio 5, they held their annual fundraiser at L’Etage, (624 South 6th Street), an intimate space on the second floor of the popular creperie Beau Monde in Queen Village. The 70 minute show, “For Crying Out Loud: Revenge of the Raw Onion!” included seventeen satirical pieces from The Onion: America’s s Finest News Source which ranged from funny to side-splittingly funny. There was no intermission, but one was too busy laughing at the fine performances to notice.
Highlights include the opening monologue performed by John D’Alonzo, called “Well, It Looks Like My Work Here Has Been Successfully Avoided,” which was an hysterical satire of ways to avoid office work. Jane Moore’s monologue, “Are Your Cats Old Enough to Learn About Jesus?” was by far one of the funniest bits of the evening. Even the rare occasion when an actor called “line” added to the raw pleasure of the evening which had the audience in stitches.
IRC is a reminder that one can produce fine theater by sticking to the basics: good writing, top-notch actors, clear direction. Their next show, in September 2012, as part of Philadelphia Live Arts and Fringe Festival, will be a production of Polish playwright Witold Gombrowicz’s provocative and ingenious Ivona: Princess of Burgundia (1935)), the magical story of a pompous Royal Court where everyone is consumed by his or her own importance. This is a creative, thought-provoking theatre company worth supporting.