Monday, May 16, 2011

Off The Wall and the Idiot

Off the Wall theatre stages Dostoevsky's classic.

By Russ Bickerstaff
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Every now and then you run across someone who thinks that their honesty with friends has forced them into solitude. It’s kind of a weird condition—usually I’ve found the people who feel this is the case are insufferably obnoxious people. Quite a long time ago, Fyodor Dostoevsky wrote a piece about a truly altruistic individual brmming with generosity and innocence who gets taken advantage of because of his complete and total unflinching honesty. He has returned from a Swiss sanatorium where he had been convalescing from epilepsy. The man—Prince Lev Nikolaevich Myshkin finds himself in circumstances beyond his control due to the pettiness of others. Off The Wall Theatre stages David Fishelson’s stage adaptation of Dostoevsky’s classic novel. Fishlson also wrote stage adaptations of Dostoevski’s Brothers Karamazov and Kafka’s The Castle.

The  adaptation was originally staged in the mid-1990’s. The Off The Wall production features a nicely mixed ensemble cast. Fourteen actors take one of Milwaukee’s smallest stages for what will have the opportunity to be a production of profound dramatic depth just inches from the audience. Eric Nelson plays Myshkin. Frequent Off The Wall talent Jeremy Welter plays the second end of a central love triangle . . . a passionate man caught in the gravity of a conflict involving Nastasya—a woman trying to escape marital ensnarment to a much older man. Nastasya is played by Off The Wall newcomer Stephanie Staszak, who has made quite an impression in a number of Greendale Commmunity Theatre productions in the course of the recent past. Much of the rest of the ensemble includes Off The Wall regulars including Karl Miller, Marilyn White, Lawrence Lukasavage and others.

Off The Wall’s production of The Idiot runs May 19th – 29th at Off The Wall’s space on 27 East Wells Street. For reservations, call 414-327-3552. 

 

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