Some of the most important works of our era last because they speak to the issues in our world that we continue to struggle with.
Recently, a new revival of Henrik Ibsen‘s A Doll’s House opened on Broadway. The play stars Jessica Chastain as Nora Helmer and Arian Moayed as her husband, Torvald. Though he loves her, he does not exactly respect her.
When Torvald accepts an offer of a new job (and a larger salary), it seems that their financial troubles are in the rearview mirror. But a secret from her past and a decision she made to save his life have come back to bite her in the ass.
It is amazing to me that this play was written when modern feminism was in its infancy and by a cisgender man who could have easily created a tragic character ( a la Anna Karenina).
Instead, Nora goes on a journey of emotional discovery that is complicated, disturbing, and revealing. In Chastain’s hands, you understand her want to be loved and her eventual desperation to find herself away from the labels she was raised to believe were normal.
Written by playwright Amy Herzog and told on a bare stage with the actors wearing modern clothing and moving around a circular slow-moving stage, the emphasis is on the story. In doing so, it reminds me the audience of not only the power of this story but that it is also sadly still relevant in 2023.
Do I recommend it? Absolutely.
A Doll’s House is playing at the Hudson theater until June 4th, 2023. Check the websites for tickets and showtimes.
P.S. I can’t think of a better way to celebrate Women’s History Month.
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