Windy City Media Group Frontpage News

THE VOICE OF CHICAGO'S GAY, LESBIAN, BI, TRANS AND QUEER COMMUNITY SINCE 1985

home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2021-12-08
DOWNLOAD ISSUE
Donate

Sponsor


  WINDY CITY TIMES

Theater: Mabou Mines Dollhouse
2005-12-14

This article shared 3299 times since Wed Dec 14, 2005
facebook twitter google +1 reddit email


Adapted by: Henrik Ibsen

( reimagined by Lee Breuer )

At: Court Theatre at Museum of Contemporary Art, 220 E. Chicago

Phone: ( 773 ) 753-4472; $26-$50

Runs through: Dec. 18

BY RICK REED

It's hard to criticize a show that takes its themes and plotlines from one of theater's greatest plays and is brilliantly innovative in its execution. On one hand, the whole of Ibsen's great pro-feminist story of Nora and her eventual epiphany of personal strength against the oppressive males surrounding her remains intact. It's a compelling story and one that's survived the test of time ( it's probably been performed thousands of times all over the world since its 1879 premiere, most recently in a Chicago-set modern version by Rebecca Gilman at the Goodman ) . On the other, it's a story that's so great and so resonant that one wonders why it would need a radical 'deconstruction.' But let's get to motive later.

Here is a show that confounds because it has found an unquestionably brilliant interpreter in director Lee Breuer ( who collaborated with the production's Nora, Maude Mitchell ) , who has staged a Doll's House as it's likely never been seen before. There is such genius here: staging the whole thing in a doll house ( set by Narelle Sissons ) ; casting small men ( none over 4 and a half feet ) and tall women ( most near six feet ) to illustrate the imbalance of power in the household and indeed, within the world of men and women in general; creating a cartoonish world which is beguiling, confusing, and sometimes hilarious. The silent music-inflected score ( original music and Edvard Grieg adaptations by Eve Beglarian, performed on piano by Ning Yu ) and the goofy, yet inspired choreography ( Eamonn Farrell ) further contribute to the kind of sustained imaginative leaps that are simply awe-inspiring.

So why after the 90-minute or so first act wasn't I chomping at the bit to get back inside the theater, anticipating that flash of the lights that indicated intermission was coming to a close? Why in fact, did I hem and haw and finally do something I hate to admit and that I never do? Why did I walk out?

Because I couldn't stand the thought of more of the same. I just couldn't bring myself to go back into the theater.

It took me a while to figure out why as I made my guilty drive home. After all, as I said above, the whole of Ibsen's brilliant work stays pretty much intact in this 'deconstruction' and the artistry on display both onstage and off is beyond reproach. What's not to like?

Plenty. The problem with Breuer's vision is that it is too much about him. It's screaming out, like a spoiled child, 'Look at me! Look how smart I am! Behold! How clever!' His cartoonish universe ( replete with its unintelligible fake Norwegian accents and the high-pitched breathy delivery of its leading lady ) gets old very quickly ( this might have made for a great 20-minute sketch, stretched to three hours, it becomes intolerable … a case for a little of something going a long way ) . Worse, Breuer's artistic vision subtracted one crucial element from his doll's house: sympathy. By creating a world so far removed from our own, we simply can't care about Nora and her plight … and that's perhaps the most horrifying thing about this smart, yet misguided creation.


This article shared 3299 times since Wed Dec 14, 2005
facebook twitter google +1 reddit email

  ARTICLES YOU MIGHT LIKE

Gay News

Victory Gardens presents reading of 'exercise your demons,' a play on trauma of a gay male body 2022-01-26
-- From a press release - CHICAGO, IL — Victory Gardens Theater presents the Ignite Chicago reading of exercise your demons: a play on the trauma of a gay male body written by Gage Tarlton and directed by Ryan Dobrin, with movement ...


Gay News

THEATER REVIEW The Moors 2022-01-26
- Title: The Moors. Playwright: Jen Silverman At: A Red Orchid Theatre, 1531 N. Wells St. Tickets: $30-$40; ARedOrchidTheatre.org. Runs through: Feb. 27 "I've been employed in many houses," declares newly hired Emily, following her arrival at ...


Gay News

Hell in a Handbag Productions presenting 'The Drag Seed' 2022-01-24
-- From a press release - CHICAGO (January 24, 2022) — Hell in a Handbag Productions is pleased to continue its 20th anniversary season with a revival of its popular comedy The Drag Seed, an unauthorized parody of the 1956 psychological horror-thriller ...


Gay News

PASSAGES Pansy Kings performance artist, education advocate Murray McKay 2022-01-20
- Pansy Kings performance artist, education advocate, curator, designer and LGBTQ activist Edward Murray McKay died Jan. 4 of cancer. He was 53. McKay was born Oct. 2, 1968, in Brussels, Belgium. The family moved to Toronto ...


Gay News

THEATER Red Orchid's 'The Moors' running through Feb. 27 2022-01-15
- A Red Orchid Theatre is running Jen Silverman's The Moors, directed by Artistic Director and Ensemble Member Kirsten Fitzgerald, through Feb. 27 at A Red Orchid Theatre, 1531 N. Wells St. The plot is as follows: ...


Gay News

THEATER About Face announces cast of queer-themed 'Laced' 2022-01-14
- About Face Theatre begins its 27th season with the world premiere of Samantha Mueller's drama Laced, running March 17-April 16 at the Den Theatre, 1333 N. Milwaukee Ave. Set in the aftermath of the vandalism of ...


Gay News

Black Ensemble Theatre announces 2022 Season of Excellence: The Season of Healings 2022-01-14
-- From a press release - Chicago, IL—Black Ensemble Theater's Founder and CEO Jackie Taylor announces its 2022 Season of Excellence: The Season of Healings. The 2022 Season includes four World Premiere musicals showcasing the power ...


Gay News

THEATER DuSable, puppet company to run Toni Morrison's 'The Bluest Eye' 2022-01-13
- The DuSable Museum of African American History is partnering with the 4th Chicago International Puppet Theater Festival to present a production of The Bluest Eye, based on Toni Morrison's 1970 groundbreaking coming-of-age novel. The production will ...


Gay News

THEATER 'This Is Only a Test' Feb. 11-March 12 2022-01-12
- Broken Nose Theatre, a pay-what-you-can theater company, is welcoming back live audiences this winter with the world premiere of Eric Reyes Loo's drama This Is Only a Test, directed by Toma Tavares Langston. The production will ...


Gay News

THEATER Queer-themed 'Queen of the Night' to run Jan. 29-March 13 2022-01-11
- Victory Gardens Theater is slated to open its 2021-22 Mainstage Season with Queen of the Night, written by travis tate and directed by Victory Gardens Artistic Director Ken-Matt Martin. Queen of the Night features Terry Guest ...


Gay News

THEATER 'Mary Rose' running through Feb. 12 2022-01-10
- Black Button Eyes (BBE) Productions is concluding its 2021-22 season with the world-premiere musical Mary Rose, featuring book and lyrics by Producing Artistic Director Ed Rutherford, music and lyrics by Jeff Bouthiette, direction by Ed Rutherford ...


Gay News

THEATER 'Queens of Infinite Space' canceled because of COVID 2022-01-07
- With the increase in COVID-19 cases in Chicago and beyond, Proboscis Theatre has decided to cancel the performances of The Queens of Infinite Space set to run at Epiphany Center for Arts, 201 S. Ashland Ave., ...


Gay News

THEATER Steppenwolf delays '1919' premiere due to COVID 2022-01-07
- Due to the COVID-19 surge driven by the Omicron variant, and out of an abundance of caution for public health, Steppenwolf Theatre Company has postponed its Steppenwolf for Young Adults world-premiere adaptation of Eve L. Ewing's ...


Gay News

Mercury Theater Chicago announces casting and artists for 'Women of Soul' 2022-01-06
--From a press release - Chicago —Artistic Director Christopher Chase Carter, Managing Director Shane Murray-Corcoran, and Executive Producers Walter Stearns and Eugene Dizonannounce the cast and creative team for the next Mainstage production of the ...


Gay News

THEATER Trans performer Sis is doin' fine in 'Oklahoma!' 2022-01-05
- This isn't your typical grandma's Oklahoma! The very first musical written by Rodgers and Hammerstein opened on Broadway in 1943 and continues to captivate audiences today. The dialogue remains the same, but updated casting choices have ...


 



Copyright © 2022 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives. Single copies of back issues in print form are
available for $4 per issue, older than one month for $6 if available,
by check to the mailing address listed below.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.
All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transegender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.

 
 

TRENDINGBREAKINGPHOTOS







Sponsor
Sponsor


 



Donate


About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots      OUT! Guide     
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Advanced Search     
Windy City Queercast      Queercast Archives     
Press  Releases      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast      Blogs     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam      Outguide Categories      Outguide Advertisers      Search Outguide      Travel      Dining Out      Privacy Policy     

Windy City Media Group publishes Windy City Times,
The Bi-Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.