Love, death, birth, violence, lust, betrayal, dreams, nightmares, victories, downfalls: life is a deck of tarots and living results in merely being the witness of the inescapable and inevitable turning of its cards.

The adaptation of Gabriel Garçia Marquez’s ‘One Hundred Years of Solitude’ presented by the Russian Arts Theater and Studio, masterfully directed by Maestro Aleksey Burago and amazingly executed by an extremely talented cast, is stage theater at its best: in a minimalist but meaningful set up we observe the vicissitudes of the Buendía family dynasty through time and space suspended in a timeless and spaceless reality.
If you read the book and are familiar with story, it is fascinating to experience again the rollercoaster of emotions and events you went through and to see in flesh and blood the characters you envisioned for so many years in your imagination.
If you haven’t read the book, this play is the perfect opportunity to immerse yourself in a breathtaking adventure that will enrich your life.
Each individual actor/actress of the cast is so egregious and delivers such an intense performance that it is impossible to point out one of them in particular, but what is instead clearly perceivable is the invisible hand of the director who is able to pull out the best from his performers and give each one of them the opportunity to shine, to make you laugh, cry, hope, despair.
Maestro Burago has caught the true essence of Garçia’s masterpiece: yes, life might be a random sequence of uncontrollable tragedies and delights, and maybe our existence has no purpose at all, and we are insignificant ants in the great scheme of the Universe, but what makes us precious beings and our life valuable are our feelings and above all our memories. And if and when we realize how fragile and precarious our Life is, we can become more appreciative of the time we are given and more compassionate towards our own kind.
The feats and misfortunes of the Bondías unfold in front of our eyes in a kaleidoscopic sequence of events in which joy and sorrow spin around and around moved by an unstoppable force: lives and destinies are minced and reduced to crumbles, but there is no judgment or morality involved. Again Maestro Burago seizes a fundamental topic of Garçias’s narrative: mankind is great at both creating and destroying its own fortune and misfortune, and of course this issue was provocatively addressed by the South American author in opposition to exploitation of his land and his people by vicious dictatorships and greedy opportunist corporations.
The choral and collective superb interpretation and performance of the entire cast of actors and actresses is the brightest gem of this masterpiece; the pathos, the intensity, the authenticity of their hearts and their voices is a delight for the soul.
It was a true honor and privilege to witness the greatness of this spectacle: it goes without saying that it would be fool of you to miss this show and the opportunity to witness for yourself why we need theater and art in our lives and why we must support it with our attendance.
The show will be featured in New York City at the Puskin Hall (165 W 86th St, New York, NY 10024) until November the 24th.

Article and pictures by Joseph Ralph Fraia



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