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This show closed on February 16, 2020

About The Bald Soprano

Ionesco awash in a world gone awry -- causality means nothing, numbers don't add up, names have no validity, existence is surreal. A comedy for our time, at Bethany Mission Gallery, the ultimate evening of Idiopathic outsider art in celebration of Philadelphia Theatre Week.

The Bald Soprano was Ionesco’s first play, written in 1950. He conceived the play while attempting to learn English from a primer. He writes of this experience: “A strange phenomenon took place -- the text began imperceptibly to change before my eyes... the clichés and truisms of the conversation primer which once made sense gave way to pseudo-clichés and pseudotruisms; these disintegrated into wild caricature and parody, and in the end language disintegrated into disjointed fragments of words.”

More than half a century later, the seminal works that earned Ionesco a reputation as the “Inventor of the Metaphysical Farce” and “Shakespeare of the Absurd” are enjoying a well-deserved renaissance. Indeed, Ionesco’s parable warning of the dangers of conformity and the causality of communication have lost none of their relevance in a modern world. Ionesco believed he was writing a tragedy with The Bald Soprano, though audiences responded otherwise. The play has been in continuous performance since 1957 at the Théâtre de la Huchette in Paris and holds the world record for the show that has played non-stop in the same theatre. The nearly 18, 000 performances of The Bald Soprano have been experienced.

Run Time

1 hour, 15 minutes

Start Date

End Date

Age

10-90

The Bethany Mission Gallery

1527 Brandywine Street, Philadelphia, PA 19130

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