This full-length two-hour drama for a large cast has it all: drama. laughs, philosophy, absurdity, history, spectacle, grotesqueries, madness, lyrical flights, sex, and abundant stage magic.
Much entertainment value rests in the sweaty preparations of Rasputin’s murderers and the rich opportunities for creative staging.
The play is both disarmingly funny and deeply moving, owing much to theaters of the absurd.
One of the most enigmatic characters of history, Russia’s hard-to-kill mad monk Rasputin lived in the court of Nicolai and Alexandria. Despite several assassination attempts, Rasputin survives and thrives.
Although painfully unconvinced of the reality of his own apparent holy powers, Rasputin disrupts Russian society with his charismatic fervor. He leaps to the task of burning sinful pride from the hearts of his flock with the “horses’ smell” of his own body, and wins almost an empire before losing all—except an ironic, heartbroken, but glorious, immortality.