The Kreutzer Sonata (Art of Time Ensemble) – 2010 Summerworks Review

By Crystal Wood

I wanted to see The Kreutzer Sonata when the Art of Time Ensemble produced it earlier this year, but this silly need to pay my bills got in the way.  So, I was excited to hear that the monologue was being remounted for Summerworks, but a little suspicious about whether the story would stand on its own without Art of Time’s music and dance to accompany it.

I’m happy to say that it did.  (What can I say?  I’m a worrier.)

The Kreutzer Sonata is a play based on the short story by Leo Tolstoy that focuses on Beethoven’s Kreutzer Sonata.  I like this chain of art forms, because part of the story deals with how art (in this case, music) has the potential to drive us to emotional extremes.  Ted Dykstra, who wrote and stars in the one-man play, tells us a story of how Beethoven’s sonata destroys his life.  How?  I don’t want to give too much away, but there’s an affair (i.e. music can inspire lust) and a murder (i.e. lust can inspire jealous rage).

Ted Dykstra is really the reason to go to see this show.  A 60-minute monologue about a person driven to madness could be very tedious in the wrong hands.  But Dykstra so fully inhabits the character that it works.  His quieter moments physically pull you closer to the stage with their intimacy.  And as the drama builds, he almost literally transforms in front of us into a man much more aged and wrecked than he was at the beginning of the show.

For me, the only thing that could have improved this show would have been to see the full-length production.  Excuse me while I go subscribe to Art of Time’s new season…


– Playing at Theatre Passe Muraille mainspace, 16 Ryerson Avenue
Warning: Mature language.
– Running time: 60 min
– Showtimes: August 11th 8:00 pm, August 13th 10:30 pm, August 15th 8:00 pm
– All individual Summerworks tickets are $10 at the door (cash only)
Advance tickets are $11 ($10+$1 convenience fee)
– Tickets can be purchased online at, by phone at 416.504.7529, or in person at the Arts Box Office (located at Theatre Passe Muraille, 16 Ryerson Avenue)
– Several money-saving passes are available if you plan to see multiple shows

Photo of Ted Dykstra in The Kreutzer Sonata