The Broadway revival of EXIT THE KING is an opportunity to revisit Ionesco‘s absurdist critique of the logical fallacies of political power and entitlement, even if, in this adapted version, the topical references are strained and overly obvious.
Of the two leads, Geoffrey Rush comes off best. His mannerisms have always struck me as a little faux great actor on film, but he is able, as Bérenger, the Everyman become King, to dominate the stage with his energetic and good humored classicism. Susan Sarandon has some problems with her “return to Broadway,” not always knowing where to look or how to go from one moment to another with a sense of continuity. She finds her way, luckily, during the extended monologue that ends the play.
The featured performers are excellent. Andrea Martin is a model of reliability, and Lauren Ambrose throws herself with complete assuredness into the shifting substance of time, space and human interaction that is the live theater.
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