Photo courtesy of The Rep

REVIEW: 'A Doll’s House, Part 2' at The Rep

Evidently once is not enough.

Harry Hamm
October 19, 2018 - 4:53 pm
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Evidently once is not enough.

“A Doll’s House, Part 2” is a highly charged, somewhat chatty sequel to Henrik Ibsen’s work about an emotionally embattled wife and mother who had finally reached the brim of frustration with her life and jumped off, only to return to the homestead unannounced 15 long years later.

She has reinvented herself personally and professionally. A successful, well-to-do author, she knocks on the door of her past because she needs something from her ex-husband, which is timely, because as it turns out, he needs something from her, too.

The first person to open the door to her is the family housekeeper, played beautifully by Tina Johnson. Her character wears an embattled glance that is quite compelling. She also provides most of the comic relief.

The wife, Nora, played by Caralyn Kozlowsky, is brimming with self-image until she reveals her fractured position in life that only her past can cure. Michael James Reed portrays Nora’s husband, a seemingly timid, narrow-minded man who has never really emotionally accepted the death of his marriage. The two have a daughter, Emmy, played by Andrea Abello, who appears late in the show to become the fulcrum of a painful solution for her parents.

“A Doll’s House, Part 2” is done in one act on a mostly bare stage, save for a few sticks of furniture and very effective lighting design by Ann G. Wrightson that allows the production a proper melancholy, almost ghostly hue.

There are several dramatic gymnastic ploys near the end of the show. Teases, so to speak.

This is a damn good idea for a sequel to Ibsen’s classic work...even if it comes about 130 years later. It’s a story that travels to some very surprising places.

3 1/2 Stars

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