Photo: Earl Wilcox, Photoshop: Bill Brock
SHOW: Franz Kafka’s The Castle
GROUP: The Idiopathic Ridiculopathy Consortium
ATTENDED: Sun., Sept. 8, 2:30 p.m., Second Stage at the Adrienne
CLOSES: Sept. 22
BRIEF SELF-DESCRIPTION: "A dark comedy invoking the absurdity of Monty Python, the intrigue of The Maltese Falcon, and the search for identity à la Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events."
WE THINK: Idiopathic has made some smart choices to stage a generally entertaining and taut production. The simple set consists of three staggered “walls” with doors, which regularly get slammed shut to emphasize the protagonist K’s inability to get where he wants to go. “No stranger can get into the castle without permission,” explains one character, perhaps a bit obviously. I was generally entertained, if not enthralled, by the production — and particularly by the costumes, which evoke with nice restraint a carnival atmosphere — but the sticking point is the source material. While the program notes by an original co-adapter assert that K “remains defiant,” what he seems to remain is stubborn and frustrated, again and again. The final parable, about a man who waits defiantly outside a gate, but is refused entrance, until he dies, when at any time he could have left and gone elsewhere, is one of those lessons in which you feel “that’s obvious” and “I’m guilty of that.” Hooray, Kafka! In the end the point is to evoke an overwrought and weirdly rational-but-not-really emotional state convincingly, and Idiopathic makes a commendable effort that rewards the viewer’s time.
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