When Henrik Ibsen premiered A Doll’s House in Copenhagen in 1879, it was a succès de scandale, selling out its theatrical run and quickly spawning productions in other languages across Europe, while also outraging upholders of traditional morality by portraying a marriage in such an unflattering light. The play famously ended with heroine Nora Helmer leaving her husband and her child to go forth into the world on her own, leaving the audience to imagine what happens to her.
Lucas Hnath (whose last name rhymes with “faith”) did more than just imagine it. He wrote A Doll’s House, Part 2, which premiered on Broadway in spring of last year and now enjoys its regional premiere here at Stage West. In Hnath’s sequel, set 15 years after the events of Ibsen’s play, Nora returns to her hometown a triumphant feminist writer, albeit under a pseudonym, and seeks to finalize her divorce to her husband Torvald. Alas, it’s still the 19th century, and whether the marriage dissolves is entirely up to him. This Stoppardian work has earned the playwright the best reviews in his still-burgeoning career, and anyone familiar with his work will tell you that Hnath is a funnier writer than Ibsen. Securing our first look at this play looks like a far-seeing move by Stage West.
A Doll’s House, Part 2 runs Thu thru Nov 25 at Stage West, 821 W Vickery Blvd, FW. Tickets are $17-35. Call 817-784-9378.