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Theatre Review: The Briefly Dead Revives How We Look At Life

Synopsis: Good news: you actually can bring the love of your life back from the dead. Bad news: breakfast the next morning is really awkward. When it comes to the unexpected resurrection of his beloved wife Alcestis, King Admetos learns the hard way that the aftermath of a miracle ain’t as peachy as we might assume.

Presented By Adjusted Realists,The Briefly Dead is making its world premier at 59E59, and it is a riveting debut by writer Stephen Kaliski and Director Elizabeth Ostler. Based on Euripedes’ Alcestis, this modernized take of a Greek classic is refreshing and incredibly thought-provoking. From the power of memory to the power of God, how we define the value of our lives and the people we love comes to the forefront in this 90 minute epic.

What if Death was God’s boss? What if it is your memory defines who you are as a person? If you had to choose between life and death for your happiness, which one would you pick? The Briefly Dead approaches all these questions, and plants them like seeds for you to grow into conversation long after the show is done. Every person, especially an intellectual, enjoys watching show that make them reflective on what it means to be human, and The Briefly Dead is filled with analysis on what makes a person…. a person. Jenna Zafiropoulos is a STAR as Alcestis. She becomes an emotional supernova ranging from a quiet, “Zombie-like” woman into one of rage, courage, and wisdom As Alcestis goes from no memory to a perfect one, you grow curious at watching how she goes from open and happy to sad and reserved. It is as gaining the memory of all of her experiences turns her once, tragic death into a peaceful. She may not have been meant to die, but was she meant to live the life she did? With a simple set made by Each cast member shines as their Greek figures and catalysts to Alcestis’ spiritual journey.

From Sofiya Cheyenne’s sweetly witty Phylis to Paul Hines outlandish and wild Heracles, the cast is filled characters that will make you laugh, but also make you wonder; What does it take to heal your heart and feel fulfilled? For this question, Mia Isabella Aguirre’ is show-stopping as Death, and is a spitfire of humor, wickedness, and poignancy. She presents Death as more powerful than God, of which Ben Kaufman’s Admetos’ struggle to accept his own, potential death becomes a curious symbol/ experience as a viewer. While Alcestis is willing to give up her life, even if she is a queen, mother, and wife, Kaufman’s Admetos avidly clings on to life until he realizes that, at times, loss is not personal. Kaliski makes sure to write Death as a balancer of cosmic force. Both good and bad people need to die so that more good and bad people can be born. Simple! With each rising generation/ kingdom a gauntlet is set, of which either more good will come or more bad. Yet, when one life refuses to leave and let go of its borrowed time, then the masses pay. It is an intriguing, tragic, and oddly comforting notion that your, individual life can affect the world, which makes how you FEEL about yourself is important.

In a time when feelings can seem more important than facts, The Briefly Dead is a confrontation over how we see the truths of our lives. Our perception is vital to our choices, and is what leads our reactions to the surprising, but not so unpredictable moves of life. It was fascinating to see how each character did not see their self or others’ pain until Alcestis’ journey from life to death brought to the forefront that it is not important how you die and how you are remembered. What matters is how you live and how you approach your memory to create your truth. To Buy Tickets For The Briefly Dead, which plays until December 10,  Click Here. Location:59 East 59th Street b/t Park and Madison.

 

 

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