“Good theatrical productions are always entertaining, but the top-notch ones are also educational. They expand our horizons—and make us think about something in a brand-new way.

Desert Ensemble Theatre’s world premiere of Kafka’s Joke does all of that—in spades.

Going into the show, my knowledge of Franz Kafka was limited. I thought of him as a German writer in the early 1900s (he was actually Czech) who wrote really bizarre stuff (that part is true). This story revolves around Kafka’s real deathbed request that his best friend, Max Brod, burn thousands of pages of his unpublished manuscripts. Kafka didn’t think the work was any good and did not want the general public to see it. Brod disagreed, and opted not to destroy the writings. Instead, he spent the rest of his life promoting Kafka’s work, succeeding with the publication of three of his novels, including The Trial. Today, Kafka is viewed as one of the 20th century’s most influential writers—but he died largely unknown…”

[Read the full review at cvindependent.com]