Botchan and Brown are fine, as expected, Abraham delicately amusing. Cover takes another strong step in the steady growth of his range of characterization; Heberlee, new to the company, is a distinct find. And Daily, drolly resisting all self-conscious humor, makes the fire chief yet another of those roles he was apparently born to play. But the real star, as befits the Pearl's mission, is Ionesco, who had the gall to understand that people who always say exactly what they mean don't necessarily mean anything at all. At least, I think that's what I believe he thought he meant. Maybe you'd better go and ask Lewis Carroll. Words are not always a critic's optimal means of communication.