In love, there are no refills. And so it goes for the elderly couple in Eugene Ionesco’s tragic farce The Chairs. At the end of their journey together, they retell revisionist remembrances and create heroic narratives to stave off the inevitable. “The further one goes, the deeper one sinks,” declares the Old Man, and these two are treading water as fast as their frail constitutions will allow.
Tamar Cohn inhabits the Old Woman completely--her bird like pattering and mastery of physical porter la chaise comedy gets a double brava. David Sinaiko (Old Man), as always, rules the Cutting Ball stage with energy, focus and pure craft. This time, he guides us on the frenetic journey of a man whose life is literally, swirling around the drain one last time—a lifetime of missed chances, old grievances and petty slights rushing together in a dizzying blur. Director Annie Elias (of the critically acclaimed Tenderloin) triumphs again with complex characters and Derek Fischer gives a fine, albeit brief performance as the Orator.
Surveying the remnants of their lives one last time, the couple declares, “With such remains, one can make great soup.” The Chairs is a savory stew of wit, flawless execution and a fine example of why theater will always matter.
Now through March 31 @ the Cutting Ball Theater in San Francisco.
Photo: In a complex ménage-à-quatre The Old Woman (Tamar Cohn) and The Old Man
(David Sinaiko) make love to the Photo-Engraver and La Belle,
respectively, in Cutting Ball Theater’s The Chairs.
Photo credit: Sarah Roland