'The power of passionate conversation in 'A Doll's House, Part 2' proves a tonic in violent times'
by Nancy Churnin
published October 30, 2018
"Clare Shaffer's carefully equilibrated direction threads a tense, provocative balance among the viewpoints. The rawness of the characters' feelings feel all the sharper in contrast with the simple elegance of Karlee Peregro's set and Jeremy M. Bernardoni's lovely period costumes."
"Shannon J. McGrann brings self-assured force to the larger-than-life Nora, who sweeps back in through that door, sure of what she wants and feels. She's spent the 15 years learning to know herself, her needs, her wants and her dreams. Then, delicately, we see some of her surety chipped away as she catches up with those she left behind."
"Judy Keith's worn Anne Marie, the governess who stayed behind to care for Torvald and the children that Nora left, dishes up a harsh reminder that the only reason Nora had the luxury to go off and find herself was that she knew she could rely on Anne Marie to stay and pick up the emotional pieces."
"As Nora's husband, J. Brent Alford's deeply affecting Torvald brings home the anguish of a man who is trying to understand what he did wrong and why he was judged for doing what he was taught that a man was supposed to do. As Nora's grown-up daughter, Emmy, Amber Marie Flores chills with a smile that is as smooth as petit four icing over anger for the mother who abandoned the family when she and her brothers were too little to understand what was happening."
"There seemed at first to be an uneasy dissonance in A Doll's House, Part 2 opening on the day of the Pittsburgh shootings that left 11 dead. After all, what does a play like this have to say at a time of gunshots and grieving? It turns out, serendipitously, that it has a lot to say not just about marriage, but about how people with passionately opposing ideas, some expressed with strong language, can talk, empathize and, at critical moments, agree to disagree.
Respect for another person's opinion? The possibility of understanding a point of view that you didn't before? That is a tonic for troubled times."
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