Theater Review: “Metamorphosis” @ Woolly Mammoth

Any stage adaptation of Franz Kafka’s The Metamorphosis is going to be brazen. While it takes place mostly within the confines of a single apartment, the premise hinges upon an ordinary man who inexplicably becomes a horrific giant insect. Adapters could go the route of War Horse or The Lion King, using large puppets to depict the giant bug. Another riskier option is what happens in Susan Galbraith’s Metamorphosis, which eschews body horror altogether in favor of something more psychological. As head of Alliance for New Music-Theater, her high-concept production is markedly not musical-theater, and it’s no surprise that some flourishes are more powerful than others. Still, Galbraith and her actors explore Kafka’s ideas in an intriguing way, with a mix of dread and bitter irony.

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