The Old Woman Broods rejects decadent capitalism in favor of absurdism

Its grotesque comedy is the perfect antidote to holiday cheer.

Like a George Grosz drawing come to life, Tadeusz Różewicz’s 1969 satire about an old woman who wants to repopulate the world with her own progeny vacillates between over-the-top grotesque comedy, absurdism, and pitch-black existential despair. Set in a purgatory-like cafe with plasticked-over windows populated by a cast of ghoulish, beat-up looking characters who seem anchored to this wretched spot for eternity, the narrative—such as it is—centers on the Old Woman (Manuela Rentea, in a fiercely committed performance) and her quest to find a doctor who will allow her to once again give birth.…

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