|Crime And Punishment|
by Willard Manus
First produced in Chicago in 2003, this adaptation of CRIME AND PUNISHMENT was seen in L.A. ten years ago. Now it has returned in a new production directed by Peter Richards and starring three superb actors. That's right: three actors, because this is a stripped-down, modern version of the 500-page novel by Fyodor Dostoevsky. Written by Marilyn Campbell and Curt Columbus, it
tells its story in an astoundingly brief ninety minutes.
Michael Trevino plays Raskolnikov, the strange, tormented geezer who murders an old woman pawnbroker (Lola Kelly) for a variety of reasons. To begin with, he is poor, down and out, and much despised in life. He also has a family to feed. But Dostoevsky gives him another motive beyond the mere economic,
a belief that by raising himself up he could ultimately become a benefactor to mankind, a kind of amoral superman like Napoleon. During the course of an interrogation led by police inspector Porfiry (Brian Wallace), Raskolnikov's motives are proven false and his conscience begins to work on him, to such a degree that he begins to fall apart, in anguished fashion, crying out for
forgiveness and redemption.
takes place on a near-bare stage but leans heavily on a live camera feed
to project images of the actors on a back screen. The idea, as a press
note explains, "is to magnify the psychological depth and impact