Symphonie Fantastique
Closed 0h 55m
Symphonie Fantastique

Symphonie Fantastique NYC Reviews and Tickets

(67 Ratings)
Members say
Enchanting, Clever, Delightful, Absorbing, Masterful

About the Show

Renowned puppet artist Basil Twist returns to HERE with a revival of his 1998 boundary-breaking response to Berlioz’s 1830 'Symphonie Fantastique,' which takes place in the most unlikely of places - a 1,000-gallon water tank.

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Show-Score Member Reviews (67)

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112 Reviews | 22 Followers
Delightful, Enchanting, Masterful, Refreshing, Quirky

See it if You love piano music and abstract puppetry.

Don't see it if You want something with a narrative.

50 Reviews | 11 Followers
Delightful, Enchanting, Quirky

See it if you can sit still, be quiet, and be transported by sound and color and creative genius.

Don't see it if you need a narrative or will disrupt the rest of the audience with your wiggles and need to talk.

50 Reviews | 19 Followers
Absorbing, Enchanting, Exquisite, Riveting, Magical

See it if You love to go to art museums and are transfixed by abstraction, color and movement. This event is like seeing a painting come to life.

Don't see it if You need a narrative.

119 Reviews | 32 Followers
Delightful, Masterful, Entertaining

See it if You like Liszt piano reductions of masterworks. And if you like inventive puppetry.

Don't see it if You are expecting an actual play. You do not enjoy non-traditional performance.

254 Reviews | 86 Followers

See it if Love classical music or even a museum outing. Love water.

Don't see it if Hungry for narrative to justify a trip out. Read more

80 Reviews | 7 Followers
Delightful, Enchanting, Masterful, Refreshing, Quirky

See it if If you love Disney's "Fantasia," then this is the show for you! Incredible abstract puppetry. Christopher O'Riley's pianism is brilliant.

Don't see it if You want a show with words. Hate music.

131 Reviews | 18 Followers
Ambitious, Delightful, Enchanting, Masterful, Must see

See it if you want to see a visual wonder, like Fantasia come to life. The water puppetry is jaw-dropping, like nothing I've ever seen. Incredible.

Don't see it if you want story. There's an emotional through line but nothing approaching a narrative.

283 Reviews | 77 Followers
Enchanting, Entertaining, Great staging, Masterful, Refreshing

See it if you are looking for a very unique and different type of show. I would say close your eyes and enjoy the music, but you will miss out..

Don't see it if you are looking for something with words. This is a visual experience. Read more

Critic Reviews (12)

The New York Times
April 4th, 2018

"What you are watching never intrudes on or obscures what you are listening to; the discrete sensory experiences become, uncannily, one and the same...Mr. Twist’s rendering of Berlioz transcends such problems of representation. Instead, his terpsichorean feathers and fabrics hypnotize us into a state that approaches synesthesia, in which we seem to be hearing with our eyes, or seeing with our ears."
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April 4th, 2018

"Pure imagination...'Symphonie Fantastique' resists attempts to tack meaning onto its glorious unreason, making it still one of the most original things to come out of the New York theater two decades after it first emerged...With no characters, no story, and no recognizable symbols, 'Symphonie Fantastique' holds us transfixed...When so much theater in New York remains aggressively story-driven and rooted in realism, 'Symphonie Fantastique' dares to be different, and succeeds fantastically."
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April 8th, 2018

"HERE, the adventurous performing and visual arts institution, has brought back Basil Twist's hit 'Symphonie Fantastique' which was created at HERE in 1998. 'Symphonie Fantastique' is probably Twist's most famous and in-demand work, although he has produced better work, most particularly in partnership with Paula Vogel ('The Long Christmas Ride Home') and Joey Arias ('Arias with a Twist'), but judging from the sold-out house HERE's decision to revive it is warranted."
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Theatre is Easy
April 5th, 2018

"Mr. O’Reily is a masterful performer, but I still missed the complex quality of sound required to experience the full effect of the symphony...The production does, however, preserve the essence of 'Symphonie Fantastique,' specifically in its relentless experimental spirit...Every single technical aspect of the show is impressive, but it does not seem to resonate with me beyond being an exciting way to experience Berlioz’s music."
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Stage Buddy
April 16th, 2018

"A unique journey...with a level of physicality so precise, you don't even see it...Inside a 1,000-gallon water tank, colors and shapes come alive as five unseen puppeteers move and manipulate objects of varying sizes...Set to the sonorous score of Berlioz's 'Symphonie Fantastique'...Gorgeous, eye-popping images. It's art in motion, performance art combined with music, visual art, and whimsy. And it is simply breathtaking."
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Exeunt Magazine
April 30th, 2018

"A team of five puppeteers...Don wetsuits and soar over the tank, dipping pieces of fabric, feathers, and tinsel in conversation with the music to create a complex, intricate choreography...A hypnotic, phantasmagorical display...Audiences can make of it whatever they like. They can choose to find a story, or they can simply sit back and enjoy it on a purely sensory level...A uniquely magical experience, one perhaps best consumed with a mind open to beauty for beauty's sake."
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Theatre's Leiter Side
April 4th, 2018

"Twist provides a remarkably well-crafted artistic creation. It also happens to be-I hate to say it-dramatically dull…In 'Symphonie Fantastique'…we discover how a variety of fabrics, feathers, and other items can be put to aesthetic use when manipulated under water, beautifully lit, and accompanied by powerful music…'Symphonie Fantastique' is either a piano concert accompanied by charmingly choreographed, abstract images, or vice-versa…It is, however, by no means a drame fantastique."
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Stage Left
May 6th, 2018

“Unique, dazzling, and entrancing theatrical encounter...An epic, five movement autobiographical meditation on the composer’s love obsession...A mélange of materials...all moving and swirling about, manipulated by five unseen puppeteers in ecstatic choreography...Trance-like aquatic dance exquisitely timed to Berlioz’s dynamic score, producing an effect at once whimsical and hallucinatory...Rarest of theatrical offerings...An exciting and original artistic achievement.”
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