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Friday, November 19, 2010

Notes from Underground



Dostoevsky's grim novella is here blasted to unexpectedly brilliant life in a stage adaptation by Robert Woodruff and the amazing actor Bill Camp. The unnamed Man poses a test: "Is it possible to be perfectly candid with oneself?" Camp uses movement like a dancer, speaking chapter and verse with a raised arm or a tumble down the stairs. And he talks, and he talks, twistedly and unlikeably yet with massive force, for close to two hours. It's a stunning performance, fitted into a masterfully conceived staging enlivened by Peter Nigrini's projections. No, you don't need to have read the book. Yes, come prepared to be moved, even shaken. Like B├╝chner with the even-earlier Woyzeck, Dostoevsky thrusts a proto-modernist fist from the deep past into our modern-day world of freedom and relative plenty. Has the human condition fundamentally changed? Signs point to no.

Excerpted from Theater Review (NYC): Notes from Underground on Blogcritics. Also be sure to see Wendy Caster's review below.

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