Magis Theatre Company presents both versions of Spanish Golden Age dramatist Pedro Calderón de la Barca's masterpiece 'Life is a Dream.' More…
'Life is a Dream' (1635) deals with questions of freedom and choice in a confusing reality. As his career soared, Calderón felt the need to go deeper into his own spirit, so he completely rewrote it to examine deeper questions. In 'Life is a Dream' (1677) the setting changes to the court of the universe. The central question of the earlier version, “Will this prince be a fitting ruler?” becomes, “Is the human being a fitting caretaker of the universe?” Magis Theatre Company presents these two works together to allow these classics to speak to each other and reflect on how Calderón’s world view and philosophy developed over the course of his life.
"A fascinating show that you will not want to miss...This production is the first time that these two Calderon plays have been performed together as a single piece...Talented and energetic ensemble...I left the play intrigued, energized and inspired. I encourage you to make your way to the East Village between now and Sunday to catch one of the final performances of this unique treasure." Full Review
"A rare opportunity to see what is a thoroughly engaging production of the two versions of 'Life Is a Dream'...The 11 cast members of the company do wonderfully taking on roles in both plays and, despite a running time of more than three hours, you are unlikely to be bored or to have much difficulty in following the events as they unfold...What an experience it is to see both of these performed together in the same evening...You'll not likely have this opportunity again any time soon." Full Review
“An energetic and committed ensemble is to be commended for sustaining the energy and intention throughout the piecest…The puppetry and performances are solid, but as a whole, the latter 'Life is a Dream' falls short of being as engaging as the former. It’s a rare experience to see both these texts in the same performance, and for some, the length and unevenness may detract from the timeless and compelling messages contained therein.” Full Review
'This production did not delve into the deep. I mean that wicked deep from whence all dreams emerge and are extinguished...In reference to directorial style, the blunder of pollinating the stage with stooges who mimic revolutionary renegades as they save the banished Prince is a theatre faux pas...Nonetheless, the main action packed excitement created by the ethereal leading lady and steadfast King’s keeper are worth the entertainment." Full Review
"A theatre scholar's rare treat; while well-executed, it's a marathon nonetheless...Perhaps there's a good reason why we don't see these plays programmed very often, considering the challenge they present to American theatre producers...The Magis company achieved fun, bouncy translations of the works which all the actors performed very well...After three hours of such difficult material, it felt like it was time to grab a towel and hit the showers." Full Review
See it if Rare chance to see a solid staging of a Spanish Golden Age classic. It's physical and very visual, with ++ music from a live group.
Don't see it if Calderon's script can be very creaky- with subplots and characters disappearing only to surface acts later and its humor a bit distant.
See it if An evening of theater that transports you back in time, but at the end you discover how the story is very much alive and relevant today.
Don't see it if There is no reason not to see this production, it is beautifully directed and performed.
See it if If you love classical theatre and want to see two very diverse & rarely produced plays from Spain's great playwright, Calderon de la Barca.
Don't see it if You don't have an attention span. Runs long together but doesn't feel like it overall.
See it if You are a fan of classics and "remakes". Seeing the two "dreams" back to back like this really shows the playwright's development and journy
Don't see it if You are easily confused and don't want to watch a show that is thought provoking
See it if You like classic innovative thought-provoking theatre performances.
Don't see it if You are not ready to be challenged and engaged to appreciate the meaning and purpose of the play.
See it if You're a Theatre History buff. The second 1/2 of the evening is never performed. Excellent staging, and enhancing musical accompaniment.
Don't see it if you have hemorrhoids...the evening is 3+ hours long and the chairs aren't very comfortable after the first 2 hrs. You're a traditionalist.
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