Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Hello Dolly!

For some reason Lucas Hnath felt the need to write a sequel to Henrick Ibsen's A Doll's House. We saw his A Doll's House, Part 2 last night at Barrington Stage.

I haven't yet figured out why someone wants to take someone else's  play and characters and try to keep the story going. King Lear, Part 2??  It was said at the time (1876) that when Nora slammed the door and left her husband Torvald, it was a slam heard 'round the world. A sort of early 'Women's Lib'.

In this play Hnath brings Nora back fifteen years later to try to get Torvald to sign divorce papers, which he never filed. Since Ibsen never told us what happened to Nora everything now is conjecture.

Nora and Torvald argue over all the things they should have argued over when she was still there, then she and her daughter do the same thing. In the end she walks out and slams the door again.

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Laila Robins was excellent as Nora,gorgeous in a sensational purple dress.

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Mary Stout nearly stole the show as Anne Marie, the nanny who raised Nora's children after she left. 

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Christopher Innvar was Torvald.

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Ashley Bufkin was the daughter Emmy.

The set was simple. A door in the middle of the set and two chairs. 

I'm not sure what Ibsen would have to say about the play. I felt it was unnecessary.

Tuesday, July 3, 2018

Let them eat Cake!

Last night David and I saw The Cake at Barrington Stage 2.  It is a play about a woman, famous for her cake baking, who must make a decision to make a wedding cake for two women, one of whom she is very close to.

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Debra Jo Rupp plays the baker with great energy verging on hysteria at times.

Menuma Ceesay and Virginia Vale are the two women.

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Ceesay is the intellectual, matter of fact one who simply wants to get married and doesn't really like cake.


Vale is the local southern girl who wants the wedding to be all that her late mother would have wanted. They quarrel quite a bit almost break up. She wants Della to bake their wedding cake. Della, for religious reasons, doesn't want to do this and comes up with various excuses not to do t.

Della tries to reason with them both, discouraging their marriage. Her own marriage is in bad shape. Her husband, played by Douglas Rees, is not romantically inclined. She tries to seduce him into having sex unsuccessfully.

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After much to and fro she finally bakes the cake for them.

David enjoyed the play more than I did. With the recent Supreme Court decision about his subject, I felt the play was a bit dated and was too busy with side issues.