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PLAYHOUSE REVIEW: ‘Government Inspector’ a funny Russian farce full of big, bold moments

The Government Inspector review from the Duluth News Tribune



  • This review was originally written by Lawrance Bernabo for the Duluth News Tribune on Friday, May 10
  • Photo by Nicole Modeen Photography

The Duluth Playhouse is putting on The Government Inspector. It is a farce.

A Russian farce.

About politicians.

(No, not that one.)

This version of The Government Inspector has been adapted by Jeffrey Hatcher, who strips Nikolai Gogol’s script down to the skeleton and rebuilds it with jokes guaranteed to hit an American audience’s funny bone.

He also makes ample use of black-out asides (think Groucho Marx riffing on Strange Interlude in Animal Crackers).

Set in 1836 in a small, desolate village somewhere in the middle of Tsarist Russia, this farce hinges on corrupt bureaucrats worried about a government inspector from St. Petersburg who “may show up at any moment, in any disguise.”

Of course, they all figure out it must be the visitor just come to town, Ivan Alexandreyevich Hlestakov (Jonathan Manchester).

Of course, they are all wrong and wackiness ensues.




  • Where: The NorShor Theatre
  • When: May 16, 17, 18 & 19
    • May 16 is also an ASL-Interpreted performance
  • Showtimes: Thursday-Saturday @ 7:30pm // Sunday @ 2pm
  • Tickets:
    • Standard: $35-$45
    • Student Rush: $25 (at the door the night of a show only with presentation of valid student ID for ages 25 and under)
  • Purchase: 218.733.7555 // www.norshortheatre.com


One Response to PLAYHOUSE REVIEW: ‘Government Inspector’ a funny Russian farce full of big, bold moments

  1. According to D. S. Mirsky, the play “is not only supreme in character and dialogue – it is one of the few Russian plays constructed with unerring art from beginning to end. The great originality of its plan consisted in the absence of all love interest and of sympathetic characters. The latter feature was deeply resented by Gogol’s enemies, and as a satire the play gained immensely from it. There is not a wrong word or intonation from beginning to end, and the comic tension is of a quality that even Gogol did not always have at his beck and call.”

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