FROM THE FOOTLIGHTS January 2001
British philosopher Herbert Spencer--who coined the phrase "survival of the
fittest" (our current theme)--considered progress an inevitable part of nature. We'll
test that hypothesis on Tuesday, January 16, when we discuss "Rhinoceros"
(1960), by French-Romanian playwright Eugene Ionesco, "godfather of the theater of
the absurd" (Los Angeles Times). In a small town, a rhinoceros suddenly appears. Soon
all the townsfolk are following the new fashion & turning into rhinos. The Nation
called "Rhinoceros" "brilliant," the New Yorker called it
"hilarious," & the New York Post found it "surprisingly moving."
Ionesco's plays "overturned conventions of contemporary theater and profoundly
influenced a new generation of playwrights" (New York Times). "Rhinoceros"
is his "absurdist masterpiece" (Boston Globe).
Make reservations by contacting Mark Gruenberg (202-638-0444 & email@example.com). Trap a "Rhinoceros" at Backstage Books, 545 8th St., SE, & for a special Footlights discount at Politics & Prose, 5015 Connecticut Ave., NW; & Olsson's Books & Records, 1307 19th St., NW & 7647 Old Georgetown Rd., Bethesda.
Dinner begins at 6:30 p.m. & our discussion takes place 7:30-9:30. We will meet this month at a new location, Cafe Midi Cuisine, 1635 Connecticut Ave., NW (202-234-3090), just north of Dupont Circle. Cafe Midi provides self-serve gourmet cuisine at reasonable prices. After 6:30 you can park on 18th St. near R St., NW, & on R St. on either side of Connecticut Ave.
When does survival compel change, & when does it require remaining behind? We'll explore that question Wednesday, February 21, when we discuss "Taking Sides" (1995), by British playwright Ronald Harwood. "Taking Sides" depicts the American military's postwar investigation of Hitler's favorite symphony conductor, Wilhelm Furtwangler. "Fierce" (Chicago Tribune), "powerful" (Guardian), "riveting" yet "often witty" (Financial Times), "Taking Sides" presents a "gripping moral challenge" (London Sunday Times) that "takes on new depths and shadows as the play progresses" (New York Times). We will discuss "Taking Sides" with Professor Rebecca Boehling, research fellow at the Center for Advanced Holocaust Studies, & music critic Richard Freed, program annotator for the National Symphony Orchestra. Make reservations after January 16 by calling 202-638-0444 or e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Tuesday, January 16, 6:30 p.m.: "Rhinoceros," Cafe Midi Cuisine