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

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.

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

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

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.

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.

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

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.

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

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.

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

69
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

50
Disappointing, Indulgent, Slow, Quirky

See it if You like immersive theater and "artistic" theater of the absurd. Overly unnecessary technical production.

Don't see it if You don't like immersive staging, and if you prefer a story and script to propel the production rather than technology and overcomplications

58
Confusing, Quirky, Slow, Ambitious

See it if You would like to see young actors tackle Russian literature with awkward 20th century sensibility.

Don't see it if You would not enjoy being part of the staging or too close to the actors.

50
Confusing, Great staging, Slow, Banal, Original

See it if U want to check U.S. interpretation of Dostoyevsky and want to hear song of Russian pop-star named Yolka (translated - Spruce).

Don't see it if U're afraid of something new and experimental

68
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?

65
Slow, Cliched, Indulgent

See it if You're feeling open-minded and looking for a creative interpretation of a classic story.

Don't see it if You're not feeling forgiving -- several shortcomings had to be overlooked in order to appreciate the effort put into production as a whole.

68
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.

58
Banal, Cliched, Fluffy, Indulgent, Quirky

See it if you just like anything multimedia. Daniel Kublick gets at a touching character.

Don't see it if uneven acting, having to turn around all the time or being a part of the stage setting is a turn off. Or if Dostoyevsky is sacred to you.

58
Confusing, Ambitious, Quirky, Slow

See it if You like immersion theater, live action mixed with video media, or are curious about how "The Idiot" can be adapted for a 75 minute play.

Don't see it if You don't like interactive theater or electronic music/video usage. You're a staunch fan of traditional theater. You don't know the story.

68
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.

66
Ambitious, Great staging, Creative, Original, Quirky

See it if Enjoy multi-media productions Enjoy updated classics

Don't see it if Only like traditional, narrative plays you don't like abstract staging and theatrical components

68
Dizzying, Confusing, Indulgent, Quirky

See it if you want to support productions that heroically try to do something new even if they end up faltering on opening night.

Don't see it if you believe that in art, form follows function. Why that set no matter how beautiful? And only the lead actor delivers. The others flounder.

65
Confusing, Entertaining, Dizzying, Great staging, Intense

See it if Interesting concept, fun set and costumes, nice staging

Don't see it if You don't like a lot of video/projection elements, you don't like confusing plots, not as immersive as I thought it'd be


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