Capsule Reviews

Capsule Reviews: A Dolls House


                                                                                                                                                  MARRIAGE NORWEIGAN STYLE

By Dori Campbell

Jamie Lloyd may be the most exciting director to come to Broadway since Ivo Van Hove caused a stir with “A View From the Bridge”….Lloyd’s productions of “Betrayal” and “Cyrano De Bergerac” were revelatory and now with “A Doll’s House” he adds another illuminating credit to his impressive resume.   From the moment you walk into the Hudson Theatre you are thrust into theatricality, for seated onstage in a spare setting is the Nora of this production:  Jessica Chastain.  Eventually her cast members will join here, before the lights dim, and the actual play begins, but the signal is clear:  this will be “A Doll’s House” unlike any previous production of the play.   There are no children in this production, no nanny, no maid and the conclusion which involves a decision by Nora to leave her current existence is new and startling, all of this courtesy of  Amy Herzog’s efficient and smart adaptation of the Ibsen classic.  The play has been streamlined into one act that serves the classic Ibsen text handsomely.   The praiseworthy performances in support of the excellent Ms. Chastain include Arian Moayed, Michael Patrick Thornton, Jesmille Darbouze, Tasha Lawrence and Okieriete Onaodowan.    In a year rich with superlative revivals, including “Top/Dog, Under/Dog”, “Death of a Salesman”, “Between Riverside and Crazy” and “Ohio State Murders”,  we must now include  “A Doll’s House”.

Photo by Emilio Madrid

By Noah Price

Academy Award winner Jessica Chastain has returned to the stage in a beautifully raw new production of A Doll’s House at the Hudson Theatre. Amy Herzog’s new adaptation succeeds in a way that makes the classic feel clear and current, while simultaneously reminding us just how ahead of his time Ibsen was. The wonderful ensemble of actors do all the heavy lifting on an empty stage, with monochromatic costumes and no props. Chastain holds your attention from the moment you walk in the theatre, perched like a sculpture (or doll) upon a chair rotating the stage during preshow. Make no mistake, this is her show from top to bottom. She plays most of the dialogue straight, only allowing herself emotional release towards the middle act. (It runs without intermission). She is locked into this journey and I was staring into her eyes looking for clues as to where she would go next. Nora’s famous exit will have you debating your seatmate. Tony nominee Arian Moayed (Succession) finds subtlety and layers to Torvald. And Michael Patrick Thornton is wonderful and lovable as Dr. Rank. 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *