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ROSMERSHOLM OFF-BROADWAY REVIEWS
Opening Night: November 21, 2010
Synopsis: New light shines in a dark house--passion and hope burst into a stagnant world through an older man's love for a crusading young woman who dreams of a new egalitarian society. But a secret lurks in the shadows, one that could end their crusade before it begins.
Emotionally charged, politically provocative, Ibsen's haunting Rosmersholm, tells of democratic ideals tested by harsh realities, friends turned enemies, and a terrible price yet to be paid.
NEW YORK TIMES REVIEW:
"It’s not surprising that “Rosmersholm” was one of Freud’s favorite plays. There’s so much roiling under its surface — deep desire, silent guilt — that he even used it to illustrate psychoanalytic theory. As presented by the Pearl Theater Company, this Ibsen drama is compelling to watch as its characters grapple with those unvoiced emotions. Yet when their internal struggles turn into external battles, the production sometimes suffers. "
"New York's venerable Pearl Theatre Company helps breathe new life into Henrik Ibsen's Rosmersholm, now at New York City Center Stage II. Ibsen's tale of the death of idealism in a stately 19th-century house is less well known than some of his other titles, and the work teeters into melodrama in the second half. But this domestic tragedy about the collision of utopian ideas and political realities, following a progressive government takeover in 1880s Norway, includes timeless elements that could have been written today. "
"Despite its somewhat intimidating sounding name, Henrik Ibsen's Rosmersholm, in Mike Poulton's new translation, is surprisingly accessible. Originally written in 1886, Ibsen's play is part ghost story, part love story, but mostly a reaction to the politics of the world around him, where a liberal government had just been elected, and a conservative backlash was whipping the nation into a partisan fervor. This translation keeps the language precise and straightforward, making the parallels between Ibsen's time and our own jump to the forefront, highlighting the immediacy of the situation rather than the intricacies of the character's internal journeys."
"The interchanges quoted above sum up the strengths and the weaknesses of Henrik Ibsen's Rosmersholm. This final work was prompted by the playwright's return to Oslo in 1885 after a long absence and finding himself appalled that the same moral and social conservatism that had led to his leaving still prevailed. He was especially disturbed by the fact that a liberal government had finally secured leadership, only to be struck down by a bitter and malicious backlash from the conservatives refusing to accept change. "
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