What a weird, delightful, magical show! I so thoroughly enjoyed it.
The cast is enormously talented, a true ensemble, feeding off each others' energy, morphing from character to character.
The live music is INCREDIBLE! It touched me on such a vicersal level, and was an integral part of the performance. It really gave this show a full-bodied depth and beauty.
My favorite part was the use of simple stage magic. No fancy special effects, but through creative theatre, so many truly magical moments were manifested.
I did not feel that I needed any background on Daniil Kharms (on whose absurd short stories this piece is based) to enjoy and engage with the show.
That being said, a part of me wished for a wee bit more narrative. I lo...
" Kharmful Charms or Daniil Kharms"
is a real jewel of a theatre experience. Charming and genuine.
The unique style of Daniil Kharms- who is considered by art historians the first absurdist in the world - has been rendered by Schkapfians in such authentic, amazing visual messages. The short stories/humoresques of Kharms seem to be tough to imagine in any "physical" representation because they are rooted in paradox, in play of words and meanings annihilating each other. Later European absurdists( Ionesco, Beckett, etc.) developed very refined aesthetics of visual language suiting their theatre; but how to transfer the meta-visual, playfully abstract substance of Kharms' writings onto the stage without changing it into something more li...
I love the absurd, and this certainly has it in spades. Not to fixate on details, but the facepaint is brilliant! I love what it does to the actors' faces. If you like absurdism, this is for you!...
This darkly unhinged cabaret show delighted the hell out of me. As if Saturday Night Live were written by Brecht, Beckett and Buñuel. I knew nothing of Daniil Kharms going into the show. Thoroughly weird and enjoyable....
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 n...
There is nothing like some absurdist Russian theater on a Sunday night. “Kharmful Charms of Daniil Kharms” presented by ARTEL (American Russian Theatre Ensemble) is an avant-garde theater piece based on the stories of poet and children’s writer Daniil Ivanovich Yuvatchov (who renamed himself Daniil Kharms). An easy way to describe this show would be absurdist Russian clown sketch comedy – or to not to describe it at all and just say that you will experience something wonderfully fantastic and mystical, and you will leave the theater with a happy heart and a lightened soul....
The Kharmful Charms of Daniil Kharms
By Brian Sonia-Wallace
*This review first appeared on ArtsBeatLA.com*
If this production were to play a verb, it would be, “to tickle the audience”. An intricate European clown show descending into punk chaos, this production is a parade of ever-sillier characters marinating in the irrationality of their early 20th Century Russian world. I did want to know more about the life and times of Daniil Kharms, the absurdist short story author whose stories the play is based on, and felt that an understanding of where he was writing from would deepen my appreciation of the piece. As much as I enjoyed the production, I felt like I must have missed out on a lot from lack of context. The show is at its stronges...