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Kafka And Son

Kafka And Son NYC Reviews and Tickets

(28 Reviews)
Members say
Great acting, Ambitious, Absorbing, Great staging, Thought-provoking

About the Show

Part of Soho Playhouse's Fringe Encore Series: Adapted from a letter Kafka wrote to his dad, this solo drama is a blistering dissection of domestic authority, and a visit with one of the architects of the modern psyche.

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Member Reviews (28)

Disappointing, Predictable, Slow, Indulgent, Ambitious

See it if You have a burning desire to see one mans version of what Kafka’s childhood was like.

Don't see it if You feel like you’ve got a good idea of what Kafka’s childhood was like from what you already know about him. Yeah, it’s just like that.

Confusing, Great acting, Great staging, Intense, Riveting

See it if You are very familiar with Kafka. You enjoy the letter-reading play format. You want a terrific performance & striking staging.

Don't see it if You have little-no familiarity w/Kafka. This is the advanced class: there's an assumed context for the letter & it won't be explained. Read more

Critic Reviews (14)

October 9th, 2017

"Nashman seems to inhabit any other number of personas as well: the Jewish scholar and/or Klezmer dancer, the authority figure, the shrinking, uncertain human being who feels he's a failure at everything. Nashman's tour de force performance has him crouching in a cage like a wounded animal or standing on top of it in triumph--not to mention assuming every conceivable position in between."
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October 10th, 2017

"Actor Alon Nashman handles both roles – son and father – firmly, creating distinct personalities. His performance is mesmerizing and compelling...The performer jumps between the two with verve and menace...It is a brave production bringing to life the mental state and journey of an author...Nashman gives a brave performance. This treatise gives insight and new light of Kafka’s life and work. It is a compelling, well-done, engaging production worth seeking out."
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October 12th, 2017

"Combining heartfelt recitations with physical re-enactments and surreal segments that create a distinctly Kafkaesque mood, the performance is part revelatory reminiscences, part self-help therapy session, and part exorcism...The changes in the actor’s voice and demeanor are impeccable, as he fully inhabits the antithetical characters...A powerful examination of familial dysfunction and the unremitting effects it can have...Another world-class selection."
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October 9th, 2017

"With both brilliant actor and director, such daunting material naturally lends itself to a one-man show. Nashman seamlessly embodies both the timid, intellectual son and the overbearing, authoritative bully of a father...The experience of 'Kafka and Son' is so intense that you find yourself hanging onto every word, and every new way director Mark Cassidy has devised for the scenes to play out...Nashman and Cassidy create powerful, haunting images with each new lamentation from the letter."
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August 25th, 2017

“It's a great performance, undoubtedly. But there's nothing here to hold the audience's attention, no journey for them to go on, no jeopardy, no risk, no reward. The meticulous research behind it is evident, Nashman's Kafka is rich and detailed, and Cassidy's production is thoroughly polished, but ‘Kafka and Son’ has one crippling, fundamental flaw: it's dramatically dry as a bone. It's resolutely, unyieldingly, purgatorially dull.”
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August 12th, 2017

“Throughout the performance Nashman plays the role of Kafka and also his father. The performer jumps between the two with verve and menace…The evocative set design combines perfectly with the lighting design and the anxiety that Kafka expresses is heightened to a new level. During 'Kafka and Son’ we see the inspiration behind some of Kafka’s novels. The relationship he had with his father shaped his work and Nashman has presented this complex relationship with style and menace."
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August 12th, 2017

“Nashman uses a series of voices to articulate the brusque and overbearing nature of Hermann Kafka compared to the gentler nervousness of Franz and in his forthright timidity we see a great range of talent…A fragmented yet flowing narrative, often shocking, and depressingly understandable. Yet the few moments of humor, and genuine affection within the pleadings and tirades, bring out the humanity of this staggeringly well-wrought production.”
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August 15th, 2017

“Sole actor Alon Nashman’s mannered interpretation feels perfectly pitched – you can readily believe this neurotic, fragile man created such hapless put-upons as Gregor Samsa and Josef K. It’ll polarize, I think – an hour and change of grandiloquent prose is a tough ask for any audience, and you may struggle to stay engaged throughout the lengthier digressions – but as a portrait of a toxic, destructive relationship, it is thorough and exacting.”
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August 11th, 2017

“A masterpiece…This performance navigates Kafka’s journey to try and quantify this fear, and the results are stunning…Nashman is outstanding in his work, able to work the room to such an extent that the audience knows something wonderful is about to unfold before the play even kicks off…Nashman manages to speak to every audience member as if directly, and be present in a world of his own all at once. His performance is to be marveled at: immersive, compelling and first class.”
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August 10th, 2017

“Perfectly staged…The show is structured excellently and Nashman holds the audience in the palm of his hand, however moments of poetic dance and movement may leave some bemused...'Kafka and Son' is not an easy watch, however, it is intense, intimate, moving and unmissable if you’re a fan of the author’s work. The show gives an insight into his writing that perhaps may not have been considered, while being performed powerfully well."
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August 31st, 2017

"Alon Nashman here allows us a dramatic insight into what the personal life was like for Franz Kafka...The father figure is presented as fierce, overwhelming but also having his weaknesses, his desires, and his hopes for his son. Alon Nashman manages to let us see him as a complex human being...This is a piece of acting of real intensity, with humor and with pathos...It is full of piercing insights and ideas, and is extremely well worth catching."
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May 14th, 2013

"At the first exchange between Kafka and son, the performance took on a striking new tone. Alon Nashman was transformed from the sickly, emotional Franz into the powerful, dominant Hermann bringing life to the imagined conversation...All props on the stage were used with precision and enormous impact...'Kafka and Son' is an intense study of the human condition and its limitations and deep connections."
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August 17th, 2011

"If this letter, written by Kafka to his father in 1919, were read out by a motionless man on a propless stage it would be powerful enough. Performed by Alon Nashman, it is simply breathtaking...The piece is staggeringly insightful. Ideas about gratitude, guilt, power and disobedience feel fresh and contemporary. Nashman articulates the knot inside Kafka with such intensity that it becomes a visual thing."
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July 17th, 2015

"It’s an intimate, horrifying and at times hilariously biting extrapolation on a father-son relationship fueled by narcissism, fear, sarcasm and one-upmanship, on the part of the father, and exacerbated by the son’s low self-esteem, physical puniness and inability to fight back. It’s a horror story told with a fierce sense of intimacy that is both riveting and disturbing. Nashman is an unbelievably fine performer...'Kafka and Son' is a defining, uncompromising piece of brilliance."
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