Life Is a Dream | Performing Arts Review | Chicago Reader

Life Is a Dream 

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There's little reason nowadays to stage Pedro Calderon de la Barca's 17th-century fable about a prince who forgives his father for mistreating him, a theme also reflected in a subplot in which an abandoned wife reunites with her faithless spouse. In the hope of rendering these stories palatable to modern sensibilities, adapter Adam Webster takes considerable liberties with the text, and this LiveWire Theater staging features plenty of spectacle, perhaps in the same hope. Such choices go far toward camouflaging the production's overall classroom ambience. Carlos Diaz and John Tomlinson achieve a measure of dignity as the prince and his mentor, but the acting prize goes to Kristina Klemetti: she makes us believe that the feisty, sword-packing, cross-dressing Rosaura might actually take back her two-timing husband. Through 6/26: Thu-Sat 8 PM, Sun 2 PM. Athenaeum Theatre, second-floor studio theater, 2936 N. Southport, 312-902-1500. $12.

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