peteg's blog - noise - theatre - 2015 04 25 ADollsHouse

Definition Theatre: A Doll's House at the Chopin Theatre.

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Goldstar ticket: $12.50 + $4.00 service fee = $16.50, bought 2015-04-18. That's three out of three for the Chopin Theatre. This one played in the fancy downstairs dungeon while The Hammer Trinity continued its run in the main space. The bar dude kindly rifled through his stash of quarters for me — I need just four more states! — after I purchased a coffee.

There being no threat of blood, I parked myself in the front row, and it ended up packed. My seat turned out to be right in front of where the actors sat for extended periods, but fortunately they cycled around the table so I got to study just about everyone's fronts and backs. This is (apparently) a classic play by the Norrman Ibsen which has been streamlined and directed by Michael Halberstam, and played by this diverse and young company of UIUC graduates. Some of the scenes are electric, such as when housewife Nora (a magnetic Miriam Lee) received her ultimatum from the agitated lawyer Krogstad (Christopher Sheard), and the tension-releasing horseplay between Nora and Dr Ranke (Yaw Agyeman). The cast synthesized comedy out of just about everything; Tyrone Phillips (as Torvald) graphically illustrated that embroidering is vastly more decorous than knitting. This did not rob the heavy bits of their gravitas. The material is somewhat dated, but I felt it had more to say than Three Sisters.

Zac Thompson at the Reader, and a longer article on Michael Halberstam's day job with the Writers Theatre by Deanna Isaacs. Also Jacob Davis.