Let’s figure it out.
Nonsense: Nonsense is not necessarily bad, it just has no sense. So, the Forum Theatre’s rendition of Peter Weiss’ Marat Sade, a play within a play composed by the Marquis de Sade and acted out by the inmates of an insane asylum, set in Napoleanic France and reflecting the murder of Marat during the height of the French Revolution, naturally qualifies as nonsense. The subject matter, of course, is serious. Both de Sade and the events depicted are historical. But the fact that the actors are all inmates of an asylum gives rein to the cast and directors to engage in a lot of nonsense. And they do it well.
Arrant Nonsense. Prototype 373-G qualifies as arrant nonsense. Belly (a young woman), aspires to be a sucessful stand up comic. Her old neighbor/friend (wacky enough to be in the cast of Marat Sade) returns (from who knows where) and finds her engaged to a stiff workaholic, who it turns out is sexually involved with her agent (of course). But her friend gives her a baby turtle which grows (like Audrey in Little Shop of Horrors) until it is of overwhelming size. And, oh yes, it was sent to earth by an alien force whose representative is going to come to earth, insert himself in the grown turtle, impregnate Belly, and bring this superior civilization to the planet. He does not succeed. This is one nonsensical play, saved only because the ideas are cute, the script is very clever and the acting (especially Belly and the alien) first rate. But it is arrant nonsense.
Errant Nonsense. 7(x1) Samurai, dealing with the Japanese equivalent of knights in shining armor (in this case, a mime in masks), qualifies as errant nonsense. A one man show by David Gaines, who looks like he is too old to put as much energy into it as he does, does a masked (partially), mute (almost) one man, fast speed version of The Seven Samurai. He is quite talented. The show extremely well reviewed. Left me cold. Errant nonsense.
All at the Fringe Festival.