THE STORY: Widely familiar as a successful novel and motion picture, LOLITA details the controversial obsession of Humbert Humbert, a middle-aged man of some education and refinement, to possess Dolores Haze, a pre-teen "nymphet." Comprised of a series of interrelated scenes which are commented on by an urbane narrator, the play follows the peregrinations of the increasingly desperate Humbert as he first marries Dolores's mother and then engineers her death—after which he and "Lolita" embark on a zigzag tour of America's motels, always one step ahead of another "dirty old man" with whom his hostage is in love. In the end, "Lolita" escapes Humbert's clutches only to marry a deaf man and die in childbirth—her tormentors, in turn, follow their own destinies toward either madness or murder.
The controversial play, drawn from the equally controversial novel, which starred Donald Sutherland in its Broadway presentation. Concerned with the obsession of a middle-aged man for a twelve-year-old "nymphet," the play is a picaresque blending of wild humor, affecting emotion and, in the end, inevitable degradation. "…a funny and finally tragic evocation of a man's desire to possess his irretrievable past, of the modern American landscape, of the beauties and limits of the English language." —NY Times. "…an ineffable memory of preadolescent love that leads to degradation, madness and murder." —NY Post.