Oscar Wilde famously said, “Life imitates art far more than art imitates life.” Yet, “Life x 3,” the latest show to be put on by the Fusion Theatre Company in Albuquerque, takes inspiration from the nature of the universe itself, according to Jacqueline Reid, the director of Fusion’s expansive production of the show.
Written by Yasmina Reza, “Life x 3” presents the same raucous dinner party from three different possible universes, which the press release describes as “a time/space continuum of repetition, redundancy, and revelation within the most intimate of relationships and their elemental ties to the universe.”
The show presents a dichotomy between the worst impulses of passion contrasted against the ultimate potential of humans, according to Reid.
“Why are we here? What matters and what doesn’t? We get to actualize these choices when we play and say, ‘What would have happened if I said this instead of that?’” Reid said.
The play centers around two couples: Sonia is a lawyer turned businessperson married to astrophysicist Henry, and Inez is a former professional turned stay at home mom married to astrophysicist Hubert. Jen Grigg, who plays Sonia, described her character as highly intelligent.
“I like how complex she is. She has a deep inner world. I think that she is stimulated by a lot of things, intellectually,” Grigg said.
Her husband, Henry, provides the plot upon which the multiverse of dinner parties revolve as his upcoming academic publication could be in danger. Jeff Gonzalez, who brings three distinct versions of Henry to life, said that what links all three versions together is the character’s passion for his work.
“He loves what he does. I think sometimes that love, for better or worse, turns into a laser focus that sometimes doesn’t allow you to see other things that are going on,” Gonzalez said.
In all three universes, Inez and Hubert provide foils to Sonia and Henry. Alicia Lueras Maldonado, who brings Inez to life, described the character as a very particular woman.
“She takes great care of how she carries herself, how she dresses, how she takes care of her home. She worked before as a professional and then gave that up to become a stay-at-home mother. But there’s still a sense of pride and at the same time a carefree attitude,” Lures Maldonado said.
Her husband, Hubert, provides the closest thing to a villain in the play. Played by John San Nicolas, the actor said that the bad guys get to have more fun.
“He’s pretty insufferable, but it comes from achieving everything that he wanted to and still feeling empty inside,” San Nicolas said.
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Audiences will recognize aspects of their lives in the show, according to both San Nicolas and Gonzalez.
“The humor is very relatable,” Gonzalez said. “It’s part comedy, part existential drama, but that’s the thing I love about (this production) — the way that Jackie has approached it. She made it clear it isn’t one thing or another. It’s like, that’s what life is. You can laugh at life because things are ridiculous and it’s all chaos.”
The production features light design by Fusion president Dennis Gromelski, set design by Joey Sauthoff, sound by Chad Scheer, costumes by Kc Kelley and props by Robyn Phillips.
“Life x 3” plays at the Fusion Theatre from March 23 through April 2: Thursday through Saturday at 7 p.m., Saturday at 2 p.m. and Sunday at 3 p.m. General admission tickets cost $40 and student tickets are $20. Pay what-you-can tickets are also available.
The play runs approximately 90 minutes, including a 15 minute intermission.
Gabriel Garcia is a freelance reporter at the Daily Lobo. He can be reached at email@example.com or on Twitter @GLGWrites