Kafka on the Shore
Closed 3h 0m
Kafka on the Shore

Kafka on the Shore NYC Reviews and Tickets

(3 Ratings)
Members say
Original, Masterful, Ambitious, Intense, Exquisite

About the Show

Following critical acclaim here and abroad, Japan's renowned Ninagawa Company comes to Lincoln Center Festival with an adaptation of Haruki Murakami's 'Kafka on the Shore,' a tale of magical realism, suspense, humor, and sensuality.

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Show-Score Member Reviews (3)

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105 Reviews | 107 Followers
Surreal, Masterful, Exquisite, Enchanting, Original

See it if you want to see an internationally acclaimed auteur weave a magical, winding tale with spectacular visuals. ...you love Murakami like I do!

Don't see it if you like straight uncomplicated story lines, you dislike ambiguity, or if you don't have the patience to sit through 3 hours of theatre.

188 Reviews | 71 Followers
Dizzying, Ambitious, Great staging, Intense, Original

See it if You love Murakami; this production totally got the feel! You want to explore interesting staging.

Don't see it if reading subtitles, somewhat contrived intertwining plotlines and Oedipal stories will bother you

33 Reviews | 18 Followers
Epic, Offbeat, Masterful, Quirky, Original

See it if you love Murakami, surrealism, romance, deeply romantic yearning pieces, international theatre, Ninagawa, Japanese theatre

Don't see it if you like linear, kitchen-sink dramas that are traditional, realism, short pieces (it's 3 hrs long), supertitles w/your show

Critic Reviews (20)

The New York Times
July 24th, 2015

"Visually arresting but ponderous three-hour production...Galati does a smooth job of streamlining the book, but as is often the case with stage versions of novels, story tends to take precedence...Even with an extensive running time the production does not allow for the characters to inhabit our imaginations as richly as they do in the book."
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July 25th, 2015

"At three hours, the show loses magic by cramming in too many details from the novel’s storyline...The sense of enchantment that defines Murakami’s story comes across best in the amazing design work under the masterful helming of the director...Neither light nor sound can fully penetrate the deep, dark landscape of Murakami’s mind."
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The Hollywood Reporter
July 24th, 2015

"For a good stretch of its three-hour running time it's all quite entertaining, thanks to the sheer audacity of its imagination and welcome doses of surreal humor. But the longer the evening goes on the more frustrating it gets, with the particularly oblique, glacial-paced final section seeming to not just slow down time but reverse it."
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New York Post
July 24th, 2015

"Murakami’s novels often involve flights of fancy that make them hard to adapt...Director Yukio Ninagawa and his cast pull it off — at least for the play’s first act...After intermission, though, things grind to a halt, the magic replaced by cloying affect and confusing mumbo jumbo that will charm Harukists but bore everyone else."
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September 30th, 2008
For a previous production

"Audacious in its ambition but not fully satisfying in its execution, 'Kafka on the Shore' possesses plenty to admire but not quite enough to adore. Still, while it doesn’t quite achieve the level of theatrical lyricism it attempts, this production does find an exceedingly accessible tone, lending a gentle, deeply humane sensibility to a play filled with philosophical aspirations."
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February 6th, 2013
For a previous production

"A fluid journey where time is relative and nothing is mundane, 'Kafka on the Shore' is intense, engaging, and erotic...If you are looking for a theatrical experience that could be described as Zen meets avant-garde, 'Kafka on the Shore' may be your kind of show...If you embrace the experience of this play, Kafka and Nakata's crisscrossing journeys have the potential to grip you. But remember, you have been warned: you cannot check your brain at the door."
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The Guardian (UK)
May 29th, 2015
For a previous production

"Even if the narrative is top-heavy with themes and ideas, including the circularity of time and the shifting nature of identity, the staging is riveting. A world poised between reality and dream, which embraces everything from wild forests to neon-lit urban hells, and introduces characters ranging from talking cats to Hegel-quoting sex-workers...The play quotes Yeats’s epigram that 'in dreams begin responsibility.' One might add that dreams can also end in a sensuous theatrical spectacle."
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May 29th, 2015
For a previous production

"Frank Galati's adaptation can tease out its parallels - so Kafka muses on Adolf Eichmann at the same time as Nakata witnesses mass 'catricide' - but the story refuses the centrifugal logic of good drama or the connective logic by which theatre makes meaning. It's more nebulous than that - and it's possible Murakami's saying something quite simple in quite over-complicated, wishy-washy ways. It all teeters on pretentiousness."
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Creative team