Daily News Column Ties Charlottesville to Ionesco's RHINOCEROS

Errol Louis writes in today's New York Daily News Opinion section: "The current public debate over what to do about the surge of murderous, organized racist violence in Virginia reminds me of the play Rhinoceros by Eugene Ionesco. The drama is set in a French village during World War II, where people, one by one, inexplicably begin turning into huge, rampaging rhinos. From that surrealistic premise, the play catalogs the various ways people react to the danger, providing valuable insight into how Europeans failed to stop the rise of fascism."

As it happens, Ionesco's classic Rhinoceros will be receiving a rare revival this fall Off-Broadway presented by New Yiddish Rep. In rehearsals now, Rhinoceros is set to begin performances September 7th, with the Opening on Thursday, September 14th at the Castillo Theatre, 543 West 42 Street (between Tenth & Eleventh Aves.), for a run through October 8th.

Nearly 60 years since its debut, the darkly comedic and terrifying Rhinoceros is making its Yiddish world premiere with a translation by Eli Rosen. Eugene Ionesco's Rhinoceros is one of the main influences of Theatre of the Absurd. Rhinoceros will be performed in Yiddish with English supertitles.

Under the direction of Moshe Yassur, the cast of Rhinoceros features Alec Burko, Amy Coleman, Macha Fogel, Malky Goldman, Sean Griffin, Chezky Israeli, Caraid O'Brien, David Mandelbaum, Eli Rosen, Luzer Twersky, and Melissa Weisz.

Eugene Ionesco (1909 - 1994) was one of the foremost figures of the French avant-garde theatre. Among his most popular plays are Rhinoceros, THE BALD SOPRANO, THE LESSON, THE CHAIRS, and THE KILLER.

A veteran of both the Yiddish and modern theatre, director Moshe Yassur, who was born in Iassy, Romania (the cradle of the Yiddish theatre), worked for several years with Jean-Marie Serreau at the Théatre de Babylone in Paris, taking part often as assistant director in several first productions of Beckett and Ionesco. In New York Yassur was a protege of Woody King Jr., directing at the New Federal Theatre, and he helmed New Yiddish Rep's acclaimed productions of DEATH OF A SALESMAN and WAITING FOR GODOT.

RHINOCEROS marks the second Yiddish world premiere at New Yiddish Rep, following their groundbreaking production of GOD OF VENGEANCElast season, which scored a New York Times Critics' Pick. New Yiddish Rep is dedicated to creating modern theater which speaks to a diverse contemporary audience, including those who never might have thought they could connect to a performance in a language other than their own.

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