Thursday, January 20, 2011

Ibsen at BAM

By Jack Simony

As Ben Brantley reminds us in his NY Times review of Ibsen's "John Gabriel Borkman", playing at BAM's Harvey Theater through February 6, Edvard Munch, the painter of the famed "The Scream" called this play, "The most powerful winter landscape in Scandinavian art."

He was right, and the production at BAM, brought here by the Abbey Theater of Ireland, has done a tremendous job of showing us the chill, both exterior in the weather and interior in the hearts of the characters and their relationships with one another.

I loved this production.  Ibsen's play is timeless, and the performances, most notably by the always excellent Alan Rickman, Fiona Shaw and Lindsay Duncan, were memorable.  The three refrained from milking Ibsen's tendency toward melodrama, delivering very nuanced performances.  

The play itself makes clear how our own minds can create prisons far more confining and stifling than any real penitentiary.

I believe there are still tickets.  Go!

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