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Frank Theatre’s ‘Metamorphosis’ probes Kafka’s absurdist heart

Nearly a century on, poor Gregor Samsa still has the same problem. One morning, he wakes up and discovers that in the night he has transformed into some giant bug. His family doesn’t understand him. Outsiders are horrified by his appearance, and Gregor has no idea why this has happened to him.

Frank Theatre’s latest creation is at turns absurd, funny, heartbreaking and horrifying, just like Kafka’s original creation. An able and game cast takes “Metamorphosis” and its absurdities head on here, led by John Carton as our favorite bug. Without any special makeup, Carton makes us believe he has been transformed like Gregor in the story.

The whole production has an absurdist tone and look, as if F.W. Murnau had decided to tackle Kafka’s story. The company, director Wendy Knox and set designer John Bueche all push forward with this idea, quickly transporting us into the heart of the story. Still, there are chances for deeper connections, which the cast — especially Tessa Flynn as sister Greta — do with great skill.

“Metamorphosis” runs through May 1 at Open Eye Figure Theatre, 506 East 24th Street, Minneapolis. Tickets are $18 and $20. For information and reservations, call (612) 724 3760 or visit online.

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