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Brooklyn | 2h 40m | Already closed

The Dreyfus Affair

From 4 critic and 11 member reviews
Members say: Intelligent, Absorbing, Relevant, Profound, Thought-provoking

About the show

Ensemble for the Romantic Century presents a work inspired by the life of 19th-century French Jewish artillery officer Captain Alfred Dreyfus, who was wrongfully convicted of treason. More…

False arrest. Intrigue. Conspiracy. Undying love. In 1894, Dreyfus was found guilty and sentenced to solitary confinement on Devil’s Island. In the aftermath, France was torn apart in a seismic political clash between progressive Dreyfusards and right-wing anti-Dreyfusards that pitted friends against friends, and neighbors against neighbors. 'The Dreyfus Affair' is the final installment of Ensemble for the Romantic Century’s trilogy of historic music dramas, following 2015’s 'Jules Verne: From the Earth to the Moon' and 2016’s 'Akhmatova: The Heart is not made of Stone.'

2h 40m | Already closed | BAM - Fishman Space (Brooklyn)

The New York Times

"A deep sense of anxiety is established from the very beginning of this hybrid of concert and theater...Zola’s passion provides welcome fire to a show that otherwise hews to a calm, even-keeled tone, exemplified by Mr. von Essen’s sober performance. Much of the emotion is supplied by the musical selections, which both illustrate and comment on the story, and are not necessarily from the actual Dreyfus era—a conceptual gambit that can be just as distracting as illuminating." Full Review


"The performances are restrained, which is a wise choice given the inherent melodrama of the story. The music, however, is powerfully emotive, and performed with intense vitality…Other than the two main characters of Dreyfus and his defender, Zola, there is little depth or nuance to any of the characterizations…Overall the production could use some serious nip and tuck…Everything seems to go on just a bit too long. But the music, the singing, and the lead performances are marvelous.” Full Review

Theatre is Easy

"Many individual elements of this production are very strong, especially the talent of the musicians and actors...The show’s overarching direction seems to err on the side of style over immediacy…The play does much to stylize and theatricalize the events of ‘The Dreyfus Affair,’ but very little to dramatize them…Though the production is not without its particular lapses in storytelling, it is a fine example of historic, intellectual drama, capable of provoking thought." Full Review

Theater Pizzazz

'The Dreyfus Affair' attempts to tell the entire story through expository speeches, dramatic scenes, multimedia projections, operatic song and often excessively long orchestral pieces. It’s no easy feat, and the attempt is probably ill-advised. For while there are gorgeous moments from a supremely talented cast and musicians, the lulls in the story are too frequent and too disengaging...The parts simply didn’t add up to a whole." Full Review

Absorbing, Profound, Ambitious! a unique theatrical/musical/history-laden event. serious. somber, real and instructive. a sincere, smart, passionate telling of the anti-semiticism and the atrocities of the alfred dreyfus persecution., I will remember this unique theater/music/history event!

See it if A multi-theatrical event which includes a classical music 'concert' within it. Warm, strong, serious history tale. I'm so very glad I went!

Don't see it if Serious, somber classical music and theater does not work for you.

Absorbing, Great acting, Intelligent, Profound, Great singing

See it if Want to revisit the Dryfuss Affair in a unique many faceted media production. Enjoy chamber music. Serious historical Narrative

Don't see it if Not able to deal with serious historical dramas. Only looking for fluff

Also The musicians were superb. See it befor it closes

Epic, Exquisite, Intelligent, Quirky, Slow

See it if Non-traditional format that alternates between historical biographical drama scenes and classical music performance.

Don't see it if The characters suffered and emoted but I wasn't moved by them. I learned a lot about the history and enjoyed the music.

"chamber opera", well performed and enacted

See it if you can see classical music as an illustration of, not just an accompaniment to a well acted narrative. a good story told, good music made

Don't see it if you dont care for live classical music interrupting the acting. If you have no interest in Dreyfus or turn of century French history

Absorbing, Exquisite, Intelligent, Thought-provoking, Riveting

See it if Beautiful production of the historical Dreyfus Affair with lovely accompanying classical music and singing. Extremely talented cast!

Don't see it if If you are not interested in historical dramas and classical music.

Absorbing, Ambitious, Clever, Intelligent, Thought-provoking

See it if Enjoy multi media shows that include live classical music and are interested in the Dreyfus Affair. Unusually different!

Don't see it if Don't like multi media shows and are not interested in the Dreyfus Affair.

Intelligent, Great singing, Unusual, unique, multi-media

See it if You like chamber music and are interested in learning more about the Dreyfus affair. Music, singing, acting, dancing and projections combine

Don't see it if You are not OK with relatively long music and dance interruptions in the plot.

Ambitious, Relevant, Confusing, Poor writting, Great musicians

See it if important historical events interest you. Appreciate wonderful musical interludes. Don't know the Dreyfus story. It's an important one.

Don't see it if Want character development. Trying to cram in lots of info. the actors aren't given much to develop an emotional attachment with audience.

Also This show at 2hrs. and 40 minutes didn't need the dull dance segments.... Read more Read less

2 hrs. and 40 minutes torturing dreyfus and me in the audience

See it if you're a masochist. Musicians excellent. You have good lower body circulation, my butt fell asleep. Over Acting is your 'thing' it's here.

Don't see it if You like a good script...this important story gets short shifted. You have a comfortable chair at home...you may miss it at this production

Also Direction or Script...who to blame. I don't know. 1/2 or more of the r... Read more Read less

Relevant, Disappointing, Slow

See it if You like chamber music and don't care about the script.

Don't see it if You're looking for historical drama, with a script and dialogue, and character development, and you're not a big fan of chamber music.

Also We attended expecting this relevant, dramatic true story to be grippin... Read more Read less

Absorbing, Intelligent, Thought-provoking, Profound, Relevant

See it if you like absorbing theater combined with incredibly emotional classical music exquisitely played by masterful musicians.

Don't see it if you only like frivolous entertainment

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Cast & Creatives (16)