THEATER: PERCHANCE TO DREAM

TWO VISUALLY ENTRANCING PRODUCTIONS DRAMATIZE A NIGHTMARE OF LATIN MACHISMO AND A CHILD'S PREMONITION OF DEATH

On one stage a flock of doves is released to flutter over the heads of the audience. On another there's an ethereal procession of dancers dressed as parti-colored birds. The avian stagecraft is not the only thing linking two complementary productions that have enlivened New York City's traditionally slow summer season. James Lapine's Twelve Dreams is a straight play that feels like a musical; Graciela Daniele's Chronicle of a Death Foretold is a musical that often feels like a straight play. Both appear under the aegis of Lincoln Center (though the first is off-Broadway, the second on). And both are smart,...

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