Already closed | 1h 20m | Soho/Tribeca

Idiot

From 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.


Member Reviews (77)

MEMBERS SAY:

Confusing, Quirky, Ambitious, Great staging, Disappointing
57
Avg Score

69
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.

72
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.

29
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.

45
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.

64
Disappointing, Great staging, Original, Slow, Boring

See it if You are curious about how a musical can be made based on the famous Russian novel. Good sets and creative staging are enough for you.

Don't see it if You get bored easily. You don't care for plays with basically a one sentence plot. You can't deal with loud noise. It's a 75 minute play.

50
Confusing, Quirky, Original, Excruciating, Great staging

See it if You are a fan of Experimental theater with interesting media components and you don't mind a loose weave story.

Don't see it if You like straight forward stories without odd dance/song breaks. Or if you don't like being confused, or on purpose over the top acting

35
Confusing, Different, Quirky

See it if You enjoy different quifky multimedia shows.

Don't see it if if you like more traditional sequential and logical stories.

25
Confusing, Boring, Excruciating, Slow, Banal

See it if Tedious, confusing. Techno effects were only interesting part. I envied the couple by the door who snuck out after 20 min.

Don't see it if Familiarity with Dostoevsky's work is essential here but even that didn't help me.

35
Original, Confusing

See it if Like my bride, you studied literature, and are into the emotional flow of the proceedings.

Don't see it if Like me, you may not be the brightest star in the sky, but you valorize logic in your theater, and could not make head or tail of this show

72
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.

74
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.

65
Quirky, The staging is the star, but it is overkill

See it if you like visually interesting, multi-media works; you are familiar (and comfortable)with the novel & Dostoevsky's moral ruminating

Don't see it if you value good acting over artistic staging; you can't abide awful singing & dancing

66
Great staging, Indulgent, Quirky, Repetitive, Original

See it if like a close view of experimental theatre, especially if you have some familiarity with the characters and themes of the novel.

Don't see it if you prefer a clear, linear narrative or are uncomfortable with being extremely close to the actors.

62
Ambitious, Edgy, Indulgent, Confusing, Disappointing

See it if you're curious about how a massive Russian tome has been translated into a short [yet overlong] multi-media theater piece.

Don't see it if you seek a coherent or emotionally effective play. a lot of effort and talent, some interesting staging, but it just doesn't work.

60
Confusing, Disappointing, Quirky, Banal, Insipid

See it if you're into plays with a lot of multimedia/technology use, plays based on Russian stories.

Don't see it if you want to see something that's interesting & coherent. It's too long by at least 30 min, & the actors try but mostly don't succeed, sadly

45
Arty, Quirky, Excruciating, Slow

See it if You get a free ticket and need to kill time - this was 75 minutes that felt like 3 hours.

Don't see it if You value your entertainment dollar.

58
Immersive, Fuzzy, Well-designed, Formless, Disappointing

See it if you're a fan of HERE Arts, inventive design, and attempts at distilling epic classic novels into short, theater pieces.

Don't see it if you care about plot, nuance, social context, emotion, shape, and momentum.

77
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

91
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"!

60
Profound, Slow, Romantic, Great staging, Confusing

See it if You like romantic retellings of dark Russian literature with a technological twist. I felt like the set was some kind of dream-space.

Don't see it if You hadn't read the source, like me. It felt a little too choppy, a little slow. I looked at my watch. It was a mix of effectiveness to me.

55
Ambitious, Confusing, Excruciating

See it if You like glitzy effects that don't move the story (what story) and you know the Idiot

Don't see it if If you don't know the Idiot and you hate uncomfortable seats

50
Banal, Confusing, Disappointing, Great staging, Too long

See it if you love Dostoevsky

Don't see it if if you like exciting theater. The actors are talented but the presentation is confusing and too long

60
Dizzying, Strange, High-tech, Original

See it if You're interested in in a 360 multimedia experience that starts when you walk through the door. It's a unique experience.

Don't see it if You want a plot or coherent message. The situation doesn't really develop much after the first 20 minutes.

40
Confusing, Experimental, Badly acted

See it if You enjoy experimental theater loosely based on Dostoevsky's writing, including Russian karaoke, a photo booth, and bizarre moments of dance

Don't see it if you don't enjoy over the top, badly acted, disordered, experimental theater.

35
Confusing, Edgy, Excruciating, Uncomfortable, Unsuccessful

See it if you like inventive, in the round staging with lots of multimedia and soundscape usage. You like a nonsensical story with cringeworthy acting

Don't see it if you value good acting/writing/direction. The cool set was wasted on bad everything else. In the round was 100% unnecessary.


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 ...
read more
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...
read more
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 distrac...
read more
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 tak...
read more

Related content