Yasmina Reza's play, translated by Christopher Hampton, blends cruel observations with high comedy in an comic and poignant examination of our most personal intimacies and private longings. More…
Henri and Sonia are putting their son to bed when Hubert and Ines arrive for dinner, a day earlier than expected. As the evening degenerates, we see three versions of the same socially hapless evening in which the characters change subtly each time, providing a dramatically different outcome for each.
"'Life X 3' was first seen in 2003 at the Circle in the Square. This revival is tauter and funnier. Perhaps this smaller venue refracts the play in a different way, but these four actors are more convincingly real, not to mention greater pains in the butt. As the title implies, they get three chances to reveal-and revel in-their egos and idiosyncrasies, each succeeding part bringing out both nuances and bombshells." Full Review
"Three chances to experience how what is wrong could go right, and three more reasons why audiences are bound to love this show...With a stellar cast that can navigate the paths of essentially three characters each with obvious ease, this production carefully presents nuances in character and circumstance...This cast is adept and skillful in their navigation of human emotions, and how realistically they can be skewed in reality." Full Review
“We see three versions of the same evening play out...The character interactions are fascinating to watch as their personalities bounce off of each other, manifesting in different ways depending on the external factors of the night. The cast is uniformly strong...Each version of the night leaves us at the edge of our seats, wondering how and if everything will fall apart...A thrilling way to spend an evening.” Full Review
"The excellent production is a welcome, if unusual, revival by the New Light Theater Project, which usually presents new plays...The core of the characters in the following two plays remains the same, with subtle variations under Jerry Heymann’s nuanced direction...Though 'Life x 3' seems to be about a playwright testing her quiver full of artistic tricks, they disguise a work that has more depth than is immediately apparent." Full Review
"A tumultuous evening presented three different ways, inviting reflection on the need for balance...The four cast members are an immensely versatile bunch. Director Jerry Heymann has chosen to use British accents, giving the talented actors many chances to take umbrage and wax sardonic...Composer Janet Bentley has provided ethereal, jazzy music which, at times, veers off in a direction dictated by the mathematical constant 'e.'" Full Review
“Cast members...tear into their roles with a vengeance, and that breathes life into one of Reza’s lesser works...The ‘x 3’...refers to getting three different versions of a gathering...Reza has written a few funny lines, but the marital conflicts and the interplay between the couples mainly provide the humor. Although things can at moments become somewhat tedious...It is enjoyable watching the four excellent actors make the most of their roles.” Full Review
"The play appears to hedge its bets, neither making a specific point nor committing to characters while each gets a tad more civilized...Leah Curney (Ines) is the standout here. Manifesting nerves and the results of excess alcohol, authenticity rules. James Patrick Nelson needs to bone up on the script. Director Jerry Heymann could differentiate his characters more beyond what they imbibe. Use of staging area, small business, and pacing are good." Full Review
"Lacks the focus and purpose that permits each zinger to further escalate the action into childish behavior, and the incoherency of New Light Theater Project’s production seems to take out all the fun...It’s mostly snide without substance...Director Jerry Heymann follows Reza’s instruction of setting somewhat predictably, and doesn’t quite unite the cast under the game Reza is getting at. " Full Review
See it if See it if you liked God of Carnage and enjoy contemporary plays about marriage and other relationships
Don't see it if If you did not like God of Carnage although this is not as heavy. The complexity of human relationships unfold in unexpected ways.
See it if Interesting variations on a dinner satire where one character's degree of confidence shifts the behavior of the other characters. Well acted
Don't see it if You don't enjoy observing intricate relationship dynamics. People with thicker/thinner skin sniping at each other.
See it if you dream up withering comebacks to slights that happened 4 days ago. This play of parallel universes is your revenge fantasy.
Don't see it if you’re a nice person who gives everyone the benefit of the doubt; you expect totally credible dinner party dialog/behavior.
See it if You enjoy plays about couple dynamics & power plays between frenemies. You enjoy variations on a theme. You like plays in translation.
Don't see it if You don't like plays about marriage and/or friendships. You prefer a single plot & continuous story. You prefer longer, drawn out plays.
See it if you are interested in dysfunctional relationships; you are interested in how slight differences in attitude create major differences
Don't see it if you want a lot of action; you don't enjoy plays about relationships
See it if You like rapid-fire dialogue a la Pinter, intense relationship dramas, and sets designed to perfectly fit small space.
Don't see it if You hate on-stage arguments fueled by alcohol.
See it if This is a theatrical triptych. Three views of a disastrous dinner party and the impact of small quotidian decisions in the characters lives
Don't see it if You prefer plot driven plays. This is a play that examines small events emanating from the worst dinner party ever x 3.
See it if you like plays with a nasty bite. This is drawing-room comedy on a collision course with "Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf."
Don't see it if you would get bored by constant dialogue with little physical movement. All the movement is in the parry and thrust of the conversation.
See it if you enjoy great acting and theater that explores variations on at theme - the same dinner party three times, wordplay, and relationships.
Don't see it if you don't have some patience for repetition. And don't enjoy small intimate theater.
See it if you enjoy 3 variations on the same event, each with subtle differences examining if a changed action or word leads to different results.
Don't see it if you compare it to God of Carnage or Art. The first act did have biting humor and destructive elements of "Carnage." Never met its premise.
See it if If you want to see the British version of Big Bang theory. The argument ends three differing ways. The British lingo is hilarious.
Don't see it if You do not like British plays or life pieces about everyday
See it if you know and like Reza's style of theater: literate, cute, well-crafted but lacking in emotional or real intellectual depth. Parisian!
Don't see it if you are seeking a rich theatrical experience. There is enjoyment in the play and a challenge to make sense of the structure, but bit empty.
See it if you like dissections of messy marriages and diff personalities. Much sparring, but no real revelations. Int'ing structure of 3X same scene.
Don't see it if you want depth. LIFE is absorbing & clever, but to what end? Skewers childrearing, work dynamics, marital discord. Well staged/nice set.
See it if Actors were good at portraying variations on the drawing room banter. I liked the concept of changing the outcome with a nuanced do over
Don't see it if Problem was in pinpointing what changes in behavior led to the outcomes, so rehashing the situation 3x to what point?
See it if you'd like to view a scene from 3 perspectives, done on a nice set, well-lit with great music and good acting.
Don't see it if you expect a conclusion: you are viewing the same situation with three different presentations of the relationships among the characters.
See it if Reza has a great ear for contemporary mores and foibles. You see yourself onstage and you laugh.
Don't see it if you are looking for depth. It's not clear what is uncovered by starting the play three times. In the end Reza has little to say.
Also The actors are terrific. The script is witty, but empty.
See it if you'd enjoy a short, well-performed, funny scene told 3 ways. You must invest in order to decide for yourself whose version is being told.
Don't see it if you expect the playwright to take you somewhere specific. Intense/jarring dialogue @ times: married couples, work-colleagues, lots of wine.
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