Robert Lyons' new play is inspired by Dostoyevsky's novel of the same name, and staged by HERE artistic director Kristin Marting. More…
'Idiot' features a prince, a notorious woman, a spoiled socialite, and a jealous rival squaring off in an intricate and violent quartet. Immersive staging casts the audience as voyeurs, confidants, and society gossips. In the face of a corrupt society, be there as the prince battles the depths and heights of human experience.
"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." Full Review
"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." Full Review
"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." Full Review
"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." Full Review
"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." Full Review
"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." Full Review
"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." Full Review
“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.” Full Review
“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.” Full Review
“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.” Full Review
"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." Full Review
See it if u r open to multimedia non-traditional theater; u have taste in larger art spectrum: video art, soundscape, etc. not limited to storytelling
Don't see it if you only into classical theater; you dont like experimental/avant-garde; you believe a clear story is necessary to theater/film
See it if U want to see a well written adaptation of the book. Even on opening night of previews it was seamlessly performed. Humorous, creative & new
Don't see it if You prefer your classics staged classically. This had video, audience seated next to the performance area, imaginative staging & "karaoke"!
See it if You enjoy thought-provoking explorations on the human condition combined with immersive staging and modern tech elements.
Don't see it if You need a linear storyline to enjoy a show. This show is about the journey, not the destination.
See it if You'd enjoy a stylish and slim version of The Idiot. I thought the staging and effects were effective and interesting, with good acting.
Don't see it if If you really know the Idiot, it seems that you will find something lacking. There are a lot of conversations and not a lot of plot.
See it if you like more avant garde shows and can handle being looked at in the eye why the actors are speaking.
Don't see it if you get nervous when actors talk directly to you, you don't like shows that take place all over, you want something straightforward.
See it if Alternative theatrical approaches to stripped-down Russian classics interest. Engaging cast, set & audio but loses steam & doesn't resolve.
Don't see it if Russian drama or experimental, interactive plays with long speeches, strobe lights or techno music are issues.
See it if You enjoy immersive staging. It's a fun experience but it's primarily due to the creative and engaging staging.
Don't see it if It's confusing at times & at only 75 minutes the show could benefit from cutting 10-15 mins. That being said, I stil had a good time.
See it if You enjoy performance art employing immersive staging, & live projections. Be ready to become part of the show depending on where you sit.
Don't see it if Spectacle isn't your thing & you don't enjoy having to turn around in your seat to see what's going on (staged in and beyond the round).
See it if you like perfomance pieces with your dialogue. Very creative staging/projections. Good distillation of the original for 75 min. Solid acting
Don't see it if you want more theater & less "art". The performance pieces should be shortened to be more illustrative than demonstrative. Niche style.
See it if You appreciate Dostoevsky's existential ruminations and are open to creative staging
Don't see it if You are expecting "42nd Street," only like plays that work completely, or are driven nuts by awkwardly moving actors
See it if you are truly into the absurd. Technologically proficient & as a result, a little self-serious. Cyrillic karaoke. Told you it was absurdist!
Don't see it if Seriously. If you're not into experimental theater, you're not going to like it & give it an unfair review. You've been warned.
See it if You read the Idiot or read Dostoyevsky, like strong, committed performances and avant-garde staging. It was fun to see The Idiot staged.
Don't see it if If you're turned off by 4th-wall breaking, multimedia performance art installations and balk at even the hint of participatory theater.
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