Alexander Harrington returns to La MaMa to stage The Brothers Karamazov, Part II, the completing chapter of his mammoth adaptation of Dostoyevsky's masterpiece. The production is successor to Harrington's The Brothers Karamazov, Part I, which was presented by The Eleventh Hour Theater Company and The Culture Project at 45 Bleecker Street Theatre in February, 2003.
The Nicholas Nickelby-scale production features a cast of 20 (15 adults, four kids and a dog), music by The Russian Duo (Tamara Volskaya and Anatoly Trofimov), a troupe of Gypsy dancers headed by Svetlana Yankofskaya, and two intermissions when you can munch Zankuski (appetizers) from Pravda, the nightclub/restaurant on Lafayette Street.
The Brothers Karamazov, tells the story of the perverse and debauched landowner and moneylender Fyodor Karamazov and his three sons: the hot-tempered and sensual Dmitry, the intellectual Ivan, and the dreamy and religious mystic, Alyosha; the trio are widely regarded as representing the three national psychological types of Russia in Dostoyevsky's day. The novel partly revolves around the murder of Fyodor, of which Dmitry--who has been fighting with his father over money and competing with him for the affection of the femme fatale Grushenka Svetlova--is suspected. On the one hand, the novel is a thrilling murder mystery and soap opera; on the other hand, it is a profound philosophical work, which pits secular utopianism against Christianity. The first part of Harrington's adaptation centered on the novel's philosophical aspects. The second part follows the simple and thrilling narrative plot of Dmitry's trial. If you missed the first part, don't worry: Part II opens with a speedy, ten-minute recap to get you oriented.
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