Stage Russia HD (Theatre Art Studio): Sergey Zhenovach's adaptation of Nikolai Erdman's comedy centers around a young, unemployed man desperate enough to contemplate ending it all. As soon as he declares his will to die he finds himself surrounded by a variety of characters begging him to kill himself as a gesture for their cause.
Flattered by this notoriety but panicked at the prospect of actually having to go through with it, he must find a way out that somehow leaves his dignity intact.
Designer Alexander Borovsky's walled-up stage with two stories of raggedy doors allows for slapstick chases and gives Zhenovach the opportunity to play entire scenes offstage, freeing it of realistic details and keeping the focus on the characters and their predicaments. Once the production builds up a head of steam, the laughs come fast and furious.