A Doll's House
|By:||Henrik Ibsen, new version by Frank McGuinness|
|Sound:||Scott Myers and John Owens|
|Opened:||4/97 at the Belasco Theater|
|Cast:||Janet McTeer, Owen Teale, Jan Maxwell, Peter Gowen, John Carlisle, Robin Howard, Rose Stockton, John Ottavino, Liam Aiken and Paul Tiesler|
This British import of the landmark Ibsen play seethed with vibrant — and unexpected — energy to send critics scurrying to their grab bags of laudatory adjectives. Indeed, deceit and scandal bubbled beneath the surface of the classically repressive domestic situation of Torvald (Teale) and Nora (McTeer), who, unbeknownst to her husband, commits forgery in order to save his life. Still powerful in our era of next-wave feminism, the story reaches a climactic pitch as Nora comes to recognize society's rigid oppression of women, particularly wives, and the radical measures she must embrace to free herself. British actress McTeer came to the role as a relative unknown in American theater, but no more. She is a precious discovery, her flawless embodiment of Nora's rage, bitterness and hope brings new nuances and even audacity to a role many have tossed off as a dated chestnut. An equally gifted supporting cast (especially Teale as her husband) and naturalistic direction by Page make this Doll's House dazzle with surprising intensity.