Venue Details

184 Star Starred
Stage 773
1225 W. Belmont Ave. Chicago, IL 60657
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1 events
1 review
1 stars
Dine at Coopers across the street and park during the show for free. Get there 2 hours before your show and make a reservation.
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24 events
15 reviews
10 stars
Cooper's restaurant and bar across the street is handy, and the food and beer are good and reasonably priced.
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Reviews & Ratings

"Life Is a Dream"
3 ratings
5.0 average rating
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Quotes & Highlights

Originally debuting at London’s renowned Donmar Warehouse in 2009, the play was hailed as “a masterpiece” by _T__he Sunday Telegraph_.
“The cast finds moments of majesty. A thoughtful rebuke to our own debased era of poll-driven sound bites and black-and-white instant judgments.” —Chicago Tribune
“Elegant. This straightforward version conveys the original’s unusual brilliance.” –-Time Out Chicago
“The astute and passionate direction of Carlin-Metz launches her cast and audience on a vision quest of heroic proportions. We are completely drawn in. A production well worth your time.”  –-ChicagoStageReview
“A show to justify Vitalist Theatre’s well-earned name. Baroque and often beautiful, Vitalist actors are completely in control of this material and make whatever seems literary to live and sing. –-Chicago Theater Blog
“Highly Recommended…a commanding and eloquent performance. The terrific cast delivers the rich text with honesty and heartfelt sincerity. Vitalist Theatre has mounted an artful, eloquent production of a 17th Century classic. —ChicagoCritic
“An enchanting fable…a fascinating contemplation of self-discovery. This production is a powerful wake-up call.” -–Chicago Now
“A fantastic reverie” –-Chicago Reader __ __


Life Is a Dream is one of the most revered plays of the Spanish Golden Age. Its 17th-century themes explode in every contemporary political circumstance where leaders are called upon to sacrifice narrow ambition, relinquish personal gain, and stand instead for social justice. Yet every leader confronts some moment when the temptations of power — wealth, licentiousness, vengeance, fame — collide with the obligation to serve the common good.

Acclaimed British playwright Helen Edmundson’s new version of Life Is a Dream captures the original play’s power with elegant language and characters as fully human and recognizable as Shakespeare’s. Honor, humility, self-awareness, accountability, and dignity are values that define human aspirations the world round, but, as Calderón demonstrates, they are hard-won and fragile: without them, we are beasts. Staged by Elizabeth Carlin-Metz.