Nevertheless, there are occasional moments of humor to lighten the mood, as when Butler kisses Raskolnikov on both cheeks in greeting, and then concludes with a quick lick — the moment sounds like it should violate the tone of the play, but the mood Butler establishes is relaxed enough elsewhere that it doesn't. Thorne gives his usual expansive performance when inhabiting a complex character, presenting a man who wants to think he's superior while trying to quash feelings that he is simply a monster.

What a dark view of the world to regard him as Everyman. How Russian. Raskolnikov persists in resisting his guilty conscience, a fortunate decision for us since otherwise the play would be a mere 20 minutes. Please forgive my not treating the central conflict with the respect usually due literary classics, but unless you are a Leopold or Loeb, the rich law students who murdered a boy in 1924 in "extraordinary" smugness, the premise might seem a bit of a stretch. This is a fine production, but Dostoyevsky has set things up so that if Raskolnikov hadn't felt terrible about also killing the innocent sister, we'd have a hardly time identifying with him at all. As a psychological study, especially in a summary, Crime and Punishment is less illuminating than it might have been.

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