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  Exit the King at City Garage Theatre

Exit the King

City Garage Theatre
2525 Michigan Ave Santa Monica

A deluded king. A failing kingdom. Two squabbling queens vying for his attention. An obsequious doctor. A dim-witted but loyal guard and a mouthy servant. In Eugene Ionescos darkly comic masterpiece we witness the final hours of megalomaniac King Berenger the First. His monstrous ego has kept him alive for four centuries, but now, Queen Marguerite calmly informs him, the time has come to die. His kingdom begins to collapse around himthe seas rise, nature rebels, crops wither, the young flee, the old fail, foreign enemies close in. Berenger rages, pleads, denies, bargains, supported by the lovely and loyal Queen Marie. But Queen Marguerite, coolly efficient, aided by her smiling henchman, the doctor, draws the king relentlessly closer to his final moment on earth. At once broadly comic and deeply unsettling, the play alternates between Monty Python-style slapstick and haunting echoes of Shakespearean tragedy. In this, the most Beckett-like of all Ionescos work, we follow an existential journey into the most terrifying landscape of all: our own mortality. In a new translation by City Garage founders Frederique Michel and Charles Duncombe.

Thru - Jul 14, 2019

Fridays: 8:00pm
Saturdays: 8:00pm
Sundays: 4:00pm


Show Type: Comedy/Drama

Box Office: 310-319-9939

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  Exit the King Reviews
  • Highly Recommended
  • Recommended
  • Somewhat Recommended
  • Not Recommended

Los Angeles Times - Recommended

"...But the Guard’s puzzled melancholy and Juliette’s tart bluntness — perhaps because they are deployed less frequently — remain amusing. And Dunn is not only beautifully cast, with his aristocratic bearing and a gleam of madness in his eyes, but he displays an impressive emotional range. A remarkably natural performer, he really takes a journey here. The image of his horrified face, spotlighted by Duncombe in the phantasmagoric final tableau, kept my soul chilled all the way to the beach."
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Margaret Gray


Total Theater - Recommended

"...This isn't to say Exit the King is all existential gloom; Ionesco is too much of a showman for that; he garnishes his story with humor, slapstick and bawdiness. Anthony M. Sannazzaro plays a quack of a doctor; Kat Johnston, a down-to-earth, lusty maid; David E. Frank a dim-witted guard. Duncombe's handsome, red-satin set and Josephine Poinsot's simple yet elegant costumes also add color and flair to the proceedings."
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Willard Manus


Night Tinted Glasses - Recommended

"...Not an easy task, but then Art rarely proves easy. The better the art, the more effort and precision it takes. This production shows the results of massive effort and incredible precision, so much so we even go on a journey of feeling very differently about every single character from beginning to end."
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David MacDowell Blue


Stage Raw - Recommended

"...City Garage impressively pulls off a metaphysical play without any special effects other than Michel's staging. Her direction is simple yet stylized, with a sprinkling of heightened movement and gesture. And while Exit the King's technical design is minimal throughout the show, its final image is arresting and haunting thanks to Duncombe's lighting."
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Taylor Kass



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