Review: “A Doll’s House, Part 2” at the Golden Theatre, New York

Author Lucas Hnath specializes in postmodern morality plays in which four characters spend ninety intermission-free minutes arguing with each other within the context of some kind of metatheatricality, constantly reminding the audience that they are watching a play of some sort. In short: downtown theatre, the kind of play one might expect to be presented at a respected off-Broadway company, get rave reviews, and then close after the set six-week run. So what on earth is A Doll’s House, Part 2, a very postmodern, tongue-in-cheek “sequel” to Ibsen’s masterwork, doing at the Golden, an 800-seat Broadway house, in a glossy production produced by the almighty Scott Rudin? That question is seemingly impossible to answer, but New Yorkers should rejoice either way. A Doll’s House, Part 2 is an exceptionally strong play, and is exactly the antivenin needed by audiences weary of the parade of over-produced Broadway theatre. Continue reading “Review: “A Doll’s House, Part 2” at the Golden Theatre, New York”

Review: “Nora” at Shotgun Players

It appears that 2017 is the year of cut-down Ibsen productions in the Bay Area. First, you had the Cutting Ball’s 75-minute edition of Hedda Gabler, of which the less said the better, and now Shotgun Players is staging a production of Nora, a version of A Doll’s House written by Ingmar Bergman (of The Seventh Seal and Persona) that lasts 95 intermission-free minutes. Unlike Hedda Gabler, however, this Nora is a winner, a fully engaging evening of theatre, sparse-yet-effective, and currently being produced in Berkeley in a top-notch staging until April 16th. Continue reading “Review: “Nora” at Shotgun Players”