Kharmful Charms of Daniil Kharms

cabaret & variety · artel · Ages 16+ · United States

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June 17, 2014 original article

My overall impression

Adaptations of absurdist authors, such as that of Daniil Kharms, must be met with the greatest care with crisp and sharp performances. Thankfully adaptor and director Olya Petrakova and her ensemble have done just that. Having gone in with no knowledge of the Russian author and thus having no context for the work, I thoroughly enjoyed the series of sketches largely due to the phenomenal performances.

Done in wonderfully traditional clowning, the ensemble perfectly embodies the absurd and surrealist style. There’s some trimming that could still be done as some sketches fall flat, however Petrakova has kept the transitions sharp and the pace never lags. Musical accompaniment by Jef Bek adds to the lively atmosphere. It’s a bizarre evening not to be missed.

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