(Ben Brantley’s article appeared in The New York Times, 3/11; clip from the original Gate Theatre production.)
He cannot stop talking, this stranger on a train. And though much of what he says isn’t pleasant, you can’t stop listening, either. There is, after all, something mesmerizing about confession in a smoky railroad car, delivered by someone you’ll never see again.
The allure of tales told in transit is as ancient and enduring as Homer. And it’s an appeal that’s exploited with deliciously old-fashioned verve (and some ingenious new-fangled accessories) in “The Kreutzer Sonata,” Nancy Harris’s adaptation of Tolstoy’s 1889 novella, which opened Sunday night in the tiny First Floor Theater at La MaMa.