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Princess Ivona – Dark, Absurdist, and Timely

Witold Marian Gombrowicz (1904 –1969) was a Polish author of fiction and plays centered on rigid structures of class and culture wrestling contemporary values and search for identity in that context. He excelled in Absurdist satire. Having prevented early publication of his own work in Poland because of selected censorship, Gombrowicz didn’t achieve fame until the latter part of his life, at which point his oeuvre was translated into over thirty languages. This well put together, stylized production reminds me of Friedrich Dürrenmatt’s The Visit, another tragic-comic piece whose amorality plays without histrionics and whose staging is most successful when carefully mannered. Couched as a latter day fairy tale, Princess Ivona revolves around decadent Prince Philip becoming obsessed with a commoner whose proximity threatens status quo. As the young royal, Bailey Edwards looks and gracefully moves like a young Roger Rees. His fixation and yearning for debasement are palpable. King (Michael Druker) and Court What was originally written as an appeal for donation has been reimagined as an intrusive citizen/audience member called Innocent, (Ben Rosenblum in appealing, naturalistic performance), storming the stage to press for ‘selfies’ with King and court. As conceptualized, the entire tale unfolds around us, in theater [...]

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Princess Ivona – Dark, Absurdist, and Timely

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