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If a play isn’t dependent on meaning, it’s probably going to be dependent on something else—such as timing. Longacre Lea’s production of Eugene Ionesco’s Man With Bags may leave viewers puzzled, but it never misses a beat. Bags is a play about borders—between homeland and foreign land, sleep and waking, life and death—and although it’s got resonances all over the place, it never explains itself. We first see the unnamed title figure (Jason Stiles) lying corpselike, his luggage beside him, as a painter (Michael Glenn) encircles him with a body outline. So is he dead? Well, maybe; he’s along a river, with a boatman who’s rowing with a sickle. But if he’s dead, he’s having a hell of an afterlife: He soon meets several generations of his family, some known to be dead; fights with bureaucrats to regain his identity; and passes through police custody, a hospital, and a war zone. Oh, right, and one of his bags is a man (James Flanagan). Anyone who’s ever had a long, fabulous dream will identify with Stiles’ character when he is subjected to a pop quiz by a sphinx (Peter Wylie) and later when, told he can’t relieve his bladder until he uses the phone, he is stuck behind a disoriented yakker (Nanna Ingvarsson). Director Kathleen Akerley, working from an adaptation of the 1977 play done by Israel Horovitz, has assembled a crackerjack team of actors—all except Stiles play multiple roles—and given them an economical set (by Joseph P. Musumeci) and props (by Abby Wood, Annie Alesandrini, and Akerley) that reappear just as dream images do: A croquet mallet becomes a judge’s gavel, and a telephone headset becomes a medical device. There’s not a single moment wasted in this long but swiftly performed fantasy, and there’s always something to look at, whether it’s Stiles, with his head in a dangling replica of his character’s childhood home, looking around, bewildered, or a roomful of half-clad patients pausing in their attempt to escape a very bad hospital as a woman in a kimono drifts by, or a trio of Rat Packy barflies voguing for—well, for what, exactly, isn’t clear. And it doesn’t seem to matter. Maybe we’re exploring Ionesco’s fears of death—he was in his 60s when he wrote Bags—or maybe we’re examining the terrors of the wars this European writer lived through. Fine enough to shrug off those possibilities and just revel in a magnificently bizarre flight of fancy.—Pamela Murray Winters