More than most of his contemporaries, Romanian playwright Eugene Ionesco had a devilishly bleak and irresistibly engaging sense of humor to his vision about the absurdity of the world and human existence. It's clearly on display in Ionescopade, the vaudeville-style musical based on his plays (The Bald Soprano, Exit The King, Rhinoceros and others) and poetry under the wily direction of Bill Castellino, with music and lyrics by Mildred Kayden. It's a load of laughs — spiced with a few dark, sobering moments. Songs, mime, slapstick mayhem and mirthful wordplay are packaged in a string of vignettes, hosted by a comic/mime designated as the Writer (Alan Abelew). There is even a very bald soprano. David Potts' cartoonish scenic design provides the appropriate backdrop for this plunge down the theatrical rabbit hole, and Mylette Nora has designed an eye-catching variety of odd costumes. Among the more memorable skits are a bizarre cooking class conducted by a garrulous French chef (Joey D'Auria, who also appears as a man with a rhino horn); a spirited gathering of devotees to a headless autocrat; an International Peace Conference of shouts, accusations and gibberish; and a family of clowns (from The Bald Soprano) all named Bobby Watson.

Fridays, Saturdays, 8 p.m.; Sun., June 2, 5 p.m.; Sundays, 2 p.m.; Thu., June 13, 8 p.m.; Wed., June 19, 8 p.m.; Thu., June 27, 8 p.m.; Thu., July 11, 8 p.m.; Wed., July 17, 8 p.m.; Thu., July 25, 8 p.m.; Wed., July 31, 8 p.m. Starts: May 31. Continues through Aug. 11, 2013

LA Weekly