New York | 1h 20m | Already closed


From 11 critic and 77 member 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. 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.

New York Theatre Review

"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

The Huffington Post

"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

Off Off Online

"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

Village Voice

"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

Theatre's Leiter Side

"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

The New York Times

"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

Time Out New York

“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

Theatre is Easy

“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

Lighting & Sound America

“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

Riveting, Quirky, Original, Great staging, Clever

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

Absorbing, Clever, Great acting, Great staging, Great writing

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"!

Absorbing, Delightful, Clever, Great staging, Great acting

See it if You like classics with a fresh twist, great theatre

Don't see it if You don't like inventive multi-media theatre in intimate space

Ambitious, Clever, Weird, Edgy, Cool

See it if you don't want to listen to other reviews and just check it out and if you want to take a fascinating and wild ride

Don't see it if you don't like experimental theater and dark matter

Quirky, Great staging, Great acting, Ambitious

See it if want something different. Well acted, staged, great folk dance.

Don't see it if you are a purist, don't think they stuck to the facts.

Clever, Edgy, Great staging

See it if You like unusual, thought-provoking theatre

Don't see it if you expect to see a blockbuster

Original, Thought-provoking, Absorbing, Very different

See it if you want to see something experimental that'll make you think. It definitely won me over.

Don't see it if you want to see a standard, commercial show.

Ambitious, Original, Intelligent

See it if You enjoy seeing a work of great literature adapted to drama

Don't see it if You don't like Russian classics

Profound, Great staging, Thought-provoking, Confusing, Ambitious

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.

Absorbing, Entertaining, Great staging, Romantic, Thought-provoking

See it if you like dostoyevsky; like romance

Don't see it if you aren't familiar with his rich text

Edgy, Great staging, Original, Ambitious, Quirky

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.

Dizzying, Great acting, Thought-provoking, Original, Ambitious

See it if You understand Russian philosophy and want to think...a lot

Don't see it if You are expecting conventional theatre and don't want to be confused

Clever, Ambitious, Original

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.

Clever, Visually inviting, Original, Well cast, Slow

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.

Quirky, Original, Dizzying, Great staging, Delightful

See it if You are into immersive theatre and interesting staging

Don't see it if The thought of an actor talking directly to you is terrifying.

Creative, Great staging, Entertaining, Confusing, Fun

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.

Absorbing, Clever, Confusing

See it if You know/liked the book, you enjoy creative staging and more artys shows.

Don't see it if You like more traditional plays, if you aren't into Russian Lit

Quirky, Confusing, Original, Ambitious, Entertaining

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).

Ambitious, Great staging, Entertaining, Confusing, Great acting

See it if You want to see something different in theatre.

Don't see it if You only enjoy traditional stagings.

Disappointing, Great acting, Fluffy, Profound

See it if You like storytelling theatre. And profound quotes.

Don't see it if Bad writing annoys you.

Performatic, Quirky, Ambitious, Enjoyable, Great staging

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.

Quirky, Original, Poetic, Poor physicality, Philosophical

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

Techno-absurdity, Ambitious, Confusing, Weird, Experimental

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.

Ambitious, Confusing, Quirky, Great staging

See it if you appreciate mashups of old works with modern tech. You like plays that use audience space.

Don't see it if you don't like Russian karaoke or plays that make you go WTF?

Great acting, Edgy, Dizzying, Banal, Confusing

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.

Cast & Creatives (12)