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Review: Galileo Galilei's last journey, THE FINAL TESTIMONY at DCF Lifeway Hall

Review: Galileo Galilei's last journey, THE FINAL TESTIMONY at DCF Lifeway Hall

The encore production of THE FINAL TESTIMONY successfully ended its one-month encore run on August 26th after 39 performances, 2 special performances, and 4 concerts. The creative team of MAMA DON'T CRY came together once again to create THE FINAL TESTIMONY, and many Korean theatergoers praised this musical for its attractive numbers and how it depicted its rather heavy topic in a lighter and enjoyable way.

As the lights dim out, Galileo Galilei appears on the stage in his trial for supporting heliocentrism. The audience gets to see him getting sentenced to house arrest for the rest of his life, and how he goes back to his home and decides to write a sequel of Dialogue Concerning the Two Chief World Systems, which would be supporting geocentrism instead of heliocentrism. Suddenly, a man who calls himself Nicolaus Copernicus appears in front of Galileo Galilei and scolds him for supporting geocentrism for his own life. Galileo Galilei shouts out that this is all a dream, and tells Copernicus to go out of his dream, only to invite another person into his dream - William Shakespeare.

THE FINAL TESTIMONY started out from the thought that what if Galileo Galilei and William Shakespeare, both born in 1564, met after their deaths. William Shakespeare, who died in 1616 comes into Galileo Galilei's 'dream' on the day of Galileo Galilei's death in 1642. Shakespeare says that he is Galileo Galilei's guide for his afterlife, and Galileo Galilei has to go on a one-night trip to the harbor, where he will get his final trial about his life and based on that trial, get sentenced to either heaven or hell. During his way to the harbor of his final trial, Galileo Galilei meets not only Nicolaus Copernicus, but also Claudius Ptolemy, his daughter Maria Celeste and his greatest fear, God. The audience also gets to see Galileo Galilei talking about Giordano Bruno and also a flashback of Galileo Galilei meeting John Milton. While going to the harbor, we see Galileo Galilei trying to finish the sequel of Dialogue Concerning the Two Chief World Systems before his final trial, but he is conflicted between writing the truth and protecting his conscience as a scientist and his human instinct of not wanting to go to hell.

Although THE FINAL TESTIMONY may have some parts that are factually not proven, it is very interesting to see how the coincidental similarity between Galileo Galilei and William Shakespeare can grow into a show that discusses life and conscience. For this two-hander musical one actor plays the role of Galileo Galilei, and the other actor plays all the other characters that Galileo Galilei meets on his way to the harbor. The lighting and the scenic design also contribute to making Galileo Galilei's journey more special. Sometimes, the small lightbulbs hung above the stage act as the stars that Galileo Galilei sees in the sky. A small hat on the side of the stage and a moving spotlight act as Maria Celeste while Galileo Galilei talks about his daughter.

While following Galileo Galilei on his journey to the harbor of his final trial, the audience also gets to think about what they would have done in Galileo Galilei's situation. Would they have argued for the truth, or would they have pleaded for their life? As the final number plays, Galileo shouts out that he didn't finish the sequel of Dialogue Concerning the Two Chief World Systems on purpose - for the sake of the truth. After the show ends, the audience gets a chance to think about their own lives - are we trying our best every moment for the truth? Are we showing gratitude towards people who are with us in our lives? What question will I get in the final trial of my life, and how will I answer that question? These questions leave the show lingering in the audience's minds.

Review: Galileo Galilei's last journey, THE FINAL TESTIMONY at DCF Lifeway Hall

The four actors who led THE FINAL TESTIMONY's premiere production to a success - Seunghyun Lee and Kyuwon Park as Galileo Galilei, Seongjae Yoo and Jiwon Yang as William Shakespeare - all gathered once more for this encore production. For its 2 special performances, all four actors appeared during the performance and staged a special version of THE FINAL TESTIMONY. On the last two days of the encore run, the actors prepared a concert for the audience who loved THE FINAL TESTIMONY's musical numbers. With all four actors on stage and everyone in the audience singing 'And Yet It Moves', the last musical number of the musical, THE FINAL TESTIMONY ended its short encore run, leaving many people waiting for the news of another production of THE FINAL TESTIMONY to be announced soon.

THE FINAL TESTIMONY at DCF Lifeway Hall

Closed on August 26th, 2018

Photo Credit: MJ Starfish



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