A man besotted with grief falls to his knees, his lover burying her remorseful cries of relief in his spent body…
A tent-style revival meeting? No, Chris Hannan’s stage adaptation of Shattered Globe Theatre’s Crime and Punishment. Dostoyevsky’s classic novel bobs and weaves in and out of suffering as we witness a Russian peasant down on his luck commit heinous crimes and find redemption in his own conscience.
The Spoiler Is In The Title
The production’s title betrays everything you’ll need to know about the plot of this play. Raskolnikov, is the anti-hero moving from the depravity of high crime toward the high ground of integrity that will involve inevitable punishment. The fascination is in watching him get there. This vivid picture of turn of the century Russia is ripe with suffering that begs the question--if murder can lead to a higher standard of living for three or more, is it justified?
The dark-colored set interrupted by hard lights on actors in goth-like costuming leaves no doubt that existential suffering is at hand for the characters of this production. Raskolnikov’s doting mother and faithful sister are complicit in the effort to promote the family’s fortunes by any means. If financial stability is in reach, a marriage to a man whose best asset is his well-groomed beard looks like a reasonable deal. The cast seems replete with shysters trying to put food on the table by hook or by crook.
A Drunken Hero For Shattered Globe Theatre’s Crime and Punishment
Never mind pronunciation of names in this production unless your native tongue is Russian. The effort is immaterial anyway. Semyon Zakharovich Marmeladov is as drunk as his name is long. His daughter Sonya’s compassionate love for her father makes her a good candidate for Al-Anon. Raskolnikov is light years ahead in the science of addiction when he defends his friend whose clothing has caught in a cog and is dragging him into the thick of it. The intoxicated Marmeladov is the manifestation of collective pain, the perfect sacrificial lamb — he who is projected upon.
If the crime takes center stage in the first half of the production, the punishment unfolds by degree in the second. Investigator Petrovich is a nineteenth century Magnum PI. He is observer to a cat and mouse game that will resolve itself within Raskolnikov given time and patience. His eloquent narration of the criminal mind seeking stasis is the accurate barometer any police agency would covet.
Fans of Dostoyevsky will likely see the autobiographical content in Hannan’s adaptation of Crime and Punishment. That author did his time in Siberia as well. This reviewer was allied with the heroic gestures of Raskolnikov, from depravity to the turn of heart toward higher ground. There is nothing so satisfying as a penitent assassin. In this narrative, Crime and Punishment does not disappoint.
Note: This is now added to the Picture this Post round up of BEST PLAYS IN CHICAGO, where it will remain until the end of the run. Click here to read — Top Picks for Theater in Chicago NOW – Chicago Plays PICTURE THIS POST Loves.
Skabichevsky, Lebezyatnikov, Doctor, Ilya Petrovich: Christopher Acevedo
Dunya: Christina Gorman
Pulkheria, Alyona: Daria Harper
Marmeladov, Nikolai: Darren Jones
Katerina, Darya: Rebecca Jordan
Nastasya, Lizaveta, Amalia: Jazzma Pryor
Raskolnikov: Drew Schad
Porfiry Petrovich: Patrick Thornton
Razumikhin: Joe Wiens
Luzhin, Koch, Priest: Brad Woodard
Sonya: Ilse Zacharias
Adaptation For Stage: Chris Hannan
Director: Louis Contey
Scenic design: Nick Mozak
Costume design: Hailey Rakowiecki
Lighting design: Shelley Strasser
Sound design & original music: Christopher Kriz
Props design: Vivian Knouse
Production manager: Judy Anderson
Stage manager: Tina M. Jach
September 13-October 30, 2018
Thursday, Friday, Saturday 8:00PM
1229 W. Belmont Ave.
$39 general admission
Discounts: $15 students, $30 seniors, $20 under 30.
$15 industry tickets on Thursdays with code “INDUSTRY.”
Available in person at the Theater Wit Box Office or by calling (773) 975-8150
or via the Shattered Globe website.
Photos by Michael Brosilow
About the Author:
Stephen B. Starr is Principal of Stephen B. Starr Design, Inc., a design and communication consultancy in Evanston, IL. Stephen is a former president of the Chicago Creative Coalition, organizer for the Chicago Weekly Sitting Meditation Group and founded and organized the Chicago Web Professionals for 12 years. Stephen is nurtured creatively by the fine art of story-telling — especially in the theater. As a college journalism major, he has since followed the siren’s call of poetry and short story writing in his free time. He is interested in the wisdom of indigenous spiritual traditions and seeks inspiration in natural settings by gardening, camping, hiking and biking.