SHOW: A Doll's House
GROUP: EgoPo Theatre Company
ATTENDED: Thu., Sept. 5, 8 pm, Playground at the Adrienne
CLOSES: Sun., Sept. 22
BRIEF SELF-DESCRIPTION: "One actress armed with only a doll's house and a collection of peculiar toys smashes Ibsen's masterpiece, and reassembles it into a vibrant, new, theatrical event."
WE THINK: What first seems gimmicky proves engrossing. Mackenzie Maula acts out Henrik Ibsen's groundbreaking 1879 play with dolls in her girly bedroom, playing all the roles with the help of voiceovers from Ross Beschler and Robert DaPonte. Her Twilight: Eclipse poster reveals much, as does The Real Housewives of New Jersey playing on her iPad. Director Brenna Geffers smartly cast a real 14-year-old: Maula is convincingly a spontaneous child playing ridiculous adults, using what modern media teaches her about relationships. What at first seems a humorous clash of 19th century morality and 21st century pop culture -- blackmailing banker Krogstad played by Darth Vader! -- actually shows their disturbing similarities. Ibsen's drama about a woman trapped in a doll's existence mocks modern melodrama, revealing what songs, TV shows, movies and celebrities (insert Miley Cyrus joke here) teach girls about how men and women behave with surprising and frightening ease.
Nora's words, "It's true, I do not know what the world is like," have never rung so true.
This is the first of three productions in EgoPo's 20th season devoted to Henrik Ibsen, and it shows A Doll's House not as a revered museum piece, but as a prescient play that's still relevant.
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