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A Dream of Red Pavilions

Members say: Disappointing, Slow, Clever, Enchanting, Great staging
55
Critics
54
9 reviews
Members
60
5 reviews
 

Pan Asian Repertory Theater presents a story based on one of China’s best-loved and most widely-read literary works, about ill-fated lovers amidst a crumbling Chinese aristocracy.

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Set in 18th-century China during the reign of Emporer Qianlong, the story centers on two beings from the heavenly kingdom who are reborn on earth as cousins Bao Yu (Precious Jade) and Dai Yu (Dark Jade). They fall in love, but their union is ill-fated as their elders have other plans. In counterpoint is the noble Jia family, who are heading for financial disaster. They represent a crumbling society as the Chinese aristocracy finds itself increasingly unable to maintain the facade of noble infallability.

 

Cast & Creatives (18)


Reviews (14)

See: Critics' Reviews | Members' Reviews
54
Avg Score

40
The New York Times

"A handsome and solemn new production...The production feels like a study summary, with undeveloped subplots popping up like untended garden flowers and unelucidated motivations running rampant...The novel’s poetic style survives in the dialogue. But despite the efforts of two directors, the production never becomes more than a pretty curiosity." Full Review

30
Lighting & Sound America

"This is a lot for two hours...Any number of plot points are mentioned, only to be dropped without explanation...The directors, Tisa Chang and Lu Yu, haven't found a way to fuse this combination of comedy of manners, historical drama, and the fantastic into a stylistic whole...The best thing to be said about 'A Dream of Red Pavilions' is that it makes one curious to read the original. But it's far too much of a stretch to say that it succeeds as a stand-alone piece of work." Full Review

60
Broadway Blog

"The story here lacks dramatic thrust; it advances in incremental steps that are mainly interesting for how they introduce historical culture and family life...The Pan-Asian’s actors struggle to offer three-dimensional performances, but most are unable to overcome the distance between their modern, Western sensibilities and their 18th-century personages. What results seems more an exotic costume drama for high school students than a memorable exploration of a literary masterpiece." Full Review

10
Times Square Chronicles

"In a politically correct world you do not want to judge too harshly a company that brings Asian actors to the forefront. Unfortunately in 'A Dream of Red Pavilions,' it is hard not to do so. It starts with British playwright Jeremy Tiang. His ambitious 'dramatization' of Cao Xueqin’s four novels is lackluster...The show runs over two hours and in all honesty, should have been cut down to an hour...Director Tisa Chang's production is just not well acted, well written and is bland." Full Review

85
TheaterScene.net

"A colorful and lucid stage adaptation...By focusing on the core story of the 120 chapter novel, this engrossing and epic story of love, betrayal, greed and tradition becomes accessible to a wider audience...The play at times seems a summary or outline version of the epic novel...The proof of the success of the production of is that it is possible to follow the involved and complex story...A production which is always absorbing, entertaining and compelling." Full Review

65
Theatre is Easy

"Framed in a gorgeous mixture of projections and sound...Xueqin’s original novel weaves together even more subplots, but Tiang picks out the moments that both focus on the most principal themes and show the grandeur of this epic. Along with detailed direction, the audience can follow the many stories without feeling entirely lost. But, in keeping all of these elements the play often dragged—'A Dream of Red Pavilions' is a long play and it feels long." Full Review

70
History News Network

"It is a solid adaptation of the novel, with a few bumps here and there, and gives audiences an interesting look at upper class family life in China nearly three hundred years ago…The staging of the play, although a bit constricted in the small theater, is pretty good. The acting is first rate…Act one is a bit stodgy and the plot is hard to follow...The play, with a number of characters, could use a larger staging and more of a grand, epic look." Full Review

80
ZEALnyc

"There are equal amounts of humor, betrayal, and tragedy that make for an exciting show that never gets dull or moves slowly. With such relatable topics, it just goes to show how little has changed since the eighteenth century Qing Dynasty. There’s something for viewers of all ages, and I encourage you to see why this adaptation has been required reading for Chinese students for hundreds of years." Full Review

70
Stage Buddy

"The performance is a lovely treasure of East Asian art...The play very much comes together, assembled by a professional and dedicated ensemble and stage crew with the passion to open up East Asian stories into the English-speaking world." Full Review

See: Critics' Reviews | Members' Reviews
60
Avg Score

50
Original, Ambitious, Disappointing, Slow, Great staging

See it if Asian culture, historic settings, different types of plays, open minded, slow plot line, typical boy meets girl story

Don't see it if You like action, fast paced story line, get bored easy

77
Enchanting, Entertaining

See it if You're interested in Life in ancient China

Don't see it if You're looking for a fast pace show

50
Confusing, Disappointing, Overrated, Slow

See it if Did not care for it

Don't see it if you have a choice

59
Absorbing, Clever, Enchanting, Exquisite, Disappointing

See it if Older people.that into exquisite style

Don't see it if If your more about drama

75
For a previous production
Clever, Great acting, Intelligent, Great writing, Great staging

See it if you enjoy a well put together production.

Don't see it if you don't like this type of theater.