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Jack, or the Submission

At the Loeb Experimental Theatre

By Daniel J. Chasan

Ionesco's Jack, or the Submission is just about as absurd as theatre gets. It alternates between caricatures and specious profundity, demanding and receiving unconvincing performances from the cast. Michael Nach is properly flaccid as Jack, a young man whose family reviles him until he declares he does like hash browned potatoes, and then tries to marry him off to Roberta, Janice Brown, a three-nosed beauty whom he finds insufficiently ugly. Miss Brown performs very well, as most of the cast seems to; "seems" because it is difficult to know exactly what the roles should be and exactly how artificially they should be played. If anything, the direction tends toward too much exaggeration.

The play gains its overall effect less through representation or reality or any message than through pure theatre, much in the manner of Genet's The Blacks. Unfortunately, it lacks the impact of The Blacks. On reflecting, its caricatures contain a lot of truth, but watching them seems hollow.

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