A woman in a tulle flowered skirt with a silvery headdress swings on a rope and pair of rings at left. A man in a white shirt and dark trousers dances behind her.
Ashlyn Lozano (left) and Marvin Quijada in The Dream King at Teatro Vista Credit: Joel Maisonet

Silent Marvin is living in a silent world that is just as monotonous as ours. The daily grind of shuffling papers at his office job and flipping channels at night leaves him unsatisfied. Where is the purpose? Fortunately for Silent Marvin, he has his dreams. Each night he enters a Dadaesque landscape where flowers are made of feet, and underwater adventures are disturbed only by his pal the moon (and cronies) wanting to drink a little something out of a flask to liven up the party.

The Dream King
Through 6/18: Wed-Sat 8 PM, Sun 3 PM, Chopin Theatre, 1543 W. Division, teatrovista.org, $45 ($20 students with current ID)

Enter a falling star, aka the girl. She is riveting and adored. Silent Marvin is in love. The pursuit, mingling with the slapstick joys of physical theater, blend together to tell a love story as old as time, full of hilarious twists and turns. Who knew the moon got around on Heelys, for instance? Or that a falling star could dance while a squidlike creature plays a compelling romantic ditty on saxophone?

Billed as a silent musical, The Dream King (codirected by Sandra Marquez and Alice da Cunha) has been a long-standing dream of Marvin Quijada’s. On stage before the show, Teatro Vista’s co-artistic directors Lorena Diaz and Wendy Mateo reminisced about how Quijada was famous for performing parts of Dream King at parties. He was staging it just before the pandemic halted progress. Fortunately for Quijada, Teatro Vista took it on, adding their signature high level of production value (scenography by Joe Schermoly, projection design by Liviu Pasare, and puppetry by Mike Oleon were on point) to this already deliriously charming tale. 

But it is Quijada who truly delivers. With a seemingly elastic facial range, his expressions can bring one to tears of mirth or mercy. Brushing his teeth? Hilarious. Looking for his missing loved one? Your heart will crack. Supporting physical theater practitioners complete the dream team in The Dream King, including Jean Claudio, Chih-Jou Cheng, Liz Krane, Ayssette Muñoz, Claudia Queseda, Jordan Reinwald, Tommy Rivera-Vega, and Ashlyn Lozano as the falling star.