The final show of the 2016/17 Broadway season bows Thursday night at the Golden Theatre. "A Doll's House Part 2" is the sequel to the 1879 Henrik Ibsen classic. NY1's Roma Torre filed the following review.
"A Doll's House Part 2" is a neat little play. It takes Ibsen's 19th century masterwork, slathers a modern veneer over its central conceit - the subjugation of women - and picks up after Nora famously slams the door. Playwright Lucas Hnath's compact 4 character drama offers no easy answers in a superb production that asks a lot of provocative questions.
Nora looks like she's living in 1879, but she sure doesn't sound like it. Fifteen years after she slammed the door, walking away from her smothering marriage, home and children, she returns, sounding awfully 21st century. Hnath's stylized take on the Ibsen classic brings the institution of marriage into sharp focus.
Laurie Metcalf's Nora defies expectations in this thoughtful work. And without spoilers, I can say she sought independence and achieved it, but at a cost.
Sam Gold directs in his signature spare style. Set in what is essentially a bare space, there is little action in this tale but much insight, and Gold shrewdly allows the words to take center stage, amplified by some spectacular acting.
Metcalf dazzles with a performance that bridges the centuries. Believable as Ibsen's Nora, yet speaking like a feminist today, she makes a strong case for the abandonment.
And then we hear from the nanny Anne Marie, played by the ever-consummate Jayne Houdyshell with her impeccably timed humor.
Condola Rashad, as Nora's daughter, proves the apple doesn't fall far from the tree. Despite the lost years, she does a most impressive turn picking up on Metcalf's mannerisms.
And Chris Cooper, back on Broadway after decades, delivers a subtle but powerful take as Nora's husband Torvald.
Was it a good decision to leave family and hearth? Don't expect any judgments here as this very smart 90 minute play only seems interested in opening the door wide to your own interpretation.