by Kerry Reid
In his book The Theatre of the Absurd, Martin Esslin notes that during the first performance of The Bald Soprano in 1950, playwright Eugene Ionesco was “amazed to hear the audience laugh at what he considered a tragic spectacle of human life reduced to passionless automatism through bourgeois convention and the fossilization of language.” Sean Graney’s wry current staging, a tribute to the Hypocrites’ inaugural production ten years ago, won’t inspire any such confusion. Ionesco’s study of two addled, cliche-spouting couples has become somewhat shopworn over the years, but it gets a giddy Terry Gilliam-esque makeover here. Exquisitely designed and performed, Graney’s hopped-up-on-goofballs staging delights from start to finish. Through 6/24: Thu-Sat 8 PM, Sun 2 PM, Building Stage, 412 N. Carpenter, 866-811-4111, $20, $10 Thu.