Idiot NYC Reviews and Tickets

(77 Reviews)
Members say
Confusing, Quirky, Ambitious, Great staging, Disappointing

About the Show

Robert Lyons' new play is inspired by Dostoyevsky's novel of the same name, and staged by HERE artistic director Kristin Marting.

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Member Reviews (77)

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Messy, Banal, Excruciating, Disappointing, Slow

See it if you have a masochistic streak. This is tough to sit through! Although minimized (in time, story & impact) to 75 min, it feels interminable.

Don't see it if you are a Dostoevsky purist. His compelling, complex novel has been distilled to a messy multi-media teen soap opera/reality show.

Odd staging does nothing to enhance the story, Good idea, poor execution, Good script sabotaged with terrible acting, Ambitious, Excruciating

See it if You're familiar with Russian literature. You want non-traditional staging. You've had a few drinks pre-show. You need to kill time.

Don't see it if You value good acting. You're sober. You don't know anything about Russian literature.

Critic Reviews (11)

The New York Times
May 3rd, 2016

"Something crucial is missing...a sense that we have entered a version of that fictional world, no matter how it is refracted...There’s no palpable social critique, none of Dostoyevsky’s disgust with the ruling class; no real sense of the prince as a Christian paragon. Which might be fine — this is, after all, a response to Dostoyevsky — except that 'Idiot' doesn’t offer anything coherent in their place. The party here never really gets started."
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Time Out New York
May 9th, 2016

“An unwieldy mess. The theatrical medium and the literary content never gel, so while Robert Lyons and Kristin Marting's attempt is noble, it seems doomed from the outset…‘Idiot’ avoids most of the common adaptation mistakes...But these solutions create their own problems...By extracting just the 'I love you! You love him! He loves me!' bits, Lyons turns the source into a soap-operatic supercut...All Dostoevsky's heartbroken critique vanishes into the noise.”
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May 7th, 2016

"Everything about this production is tepid, sedate, and leaves you wanting some caffeine...Doesn't quite feel formed enough to be a considered a compelling work of experimental theater...This show shouldn't be as dull as it is. Unfortunately, the impressive technical elements do little to distract from a dry script and overly cautious performances. There may be a brilliant immersive experience in 'The Idiot,' but in order to find it, Lyons and Marting might want to go back to page one."
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Lighting & Sound America
May 6th, 2016

“They have taken a complex, psychologically detailed, and deeply philosophical work and reduced it to a four-way lover's spat...Billed as being ‘a response’ to the novel, it remains a strange effort...Its method is largely subtractive, providing too little to compensate from all that has been taken away. It provides a good illustration of the dictum that even a piece with a short running time can seem interminable if nothing seems to be happening.”
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May 6th, 2016

"Playfully hi-tech and well performed, the show is overall enjoyable and interesting but the perpetual sensory bombardment at times overwhelms the experience of following the plot and characters...Director and choreographer Kristin Marting masterfully coordinates everything into a spectacle with sensational movement and dance. Robert Lyons has done a skillful, flavorful and faithful distillation...The spirit of Dostoyevsky does come through despite all of the technological tangents."
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Theatre is Easy
May 7th, 2016

“The casting of Kublick in the role of the Prince is a big part of what works in this production...His performance is warm, childlike, and captivating...There are several scenes including music...They’re fun to watch, but I cannot honestly tell you what the dramatic purpose was of any of those moments. They seemed to unnecessarily lengthen the run time...Maybe those who are more familiar with Dostoyevsky will find more to love in this show than I did.”
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Theatre's Leiter Side
May 11th, 2016

"What occurs over Dostoevsky’s complex course of events has been condensed into a simplified—but ambiguous—narrative with a vaguely outlined time span. The thinly dramatized characters express their feelings in contradictory ways that offer little insight into what they really mean, the transitions seem arbitrary, there are philosophical and religious digressions that add little of interest...and by the time the piece ends you feel as if years have passed, not a mere hour and a quarter."
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The Huffington Post
May 4th, 2016

"Who can say what Dostoyevsky would make of the brazen liberties taken with his famous work? But somehow the enterprise is so unexpected and astonishing—and the players so committed to what’s asked of them as they sometimes weave through, and address, the dropped-jawed patrons—that it’s difficult to laugh off the proceedings outright. Sometimes something so gleefully bold in nature deserves a succumbing respect."
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New York Theatre Review
May 13th, 2016

"It is a novel conceit...Kublick is superb as Prince Myshkin, crafting his performance into a blend of dashing hero and sad clown. His seizures are powerfully underscored by Ray Sun Ruey-Horng’s disquieting video designs...Director/choreographer Kristin Marting juggles all of these moving pieces with a strong eye for color and shape. Indeed, the visual impact often rivals Dostoyevsky’s text...'Idiot' is state-of-art Dostoyevsky."
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Off Off Online
May 10th, 2016

"There were arresting moments in this production…But, for the most part, inventive use of video, gesture and dance, the dramatic story and interludes of deeper rumination do not, finally, cohere to immerse us in anything more than that spectacle itself. We are entertained but, finally, not enlarged in the course of this production."
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Village Voice
May 11th, 2016

"The play doesn't live up to its conceptual or theatrical potential, in part because Lyons's script slashes Dostoevsky's massive novel down to 75 minutes and four characters. Neither the scenes nor their set elements ever fully cohere. The show has some high points: Daniel Kublick plays Myshkin with a touching naïveté, and multimedia elements bring his seizures vividly to life...But ultimately, like Dostoevsky's Prince, 'Idiot' doesn't ever find its way."
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