In the final scene of Ibsen's 1879 ground-breaking masterwork, Nora Helmer makes the shocking decision to leave her husband and children, and begin a life on her own. This climactic event - when Nora slams the door on everything in her life - instantly propelled world drama into the modern age.
In A Doll’s House, Part 2, many years have passed since Nora’s exit. Now, there’s a knock on that same door. Nora has returned. But why? And what will it mean for those she left behind?
Laurie Metcalf, Chris Cooper, Jayne Houdyshell, and Condola Rashad star in Lucas Hnath’s A Doll's House, Part 2.
Welcome back, Mrs. Helmer, if that’s the name you still go by. And just what do you have to say for yourself after all these years?
Quite a lot, it turns out, and they are words to hang on. Mr. Hnath’s Broadway debut, which is directed by Sam Gold and features a magnificent Laurie Metcalf leading one of the best casts in town, is audaciously titled “A Doll’s House, Part 2.” Yes, it dares to be a sequel to Henrik Ibsen’s revolutionary 1879 portrait of marriage as a women’s prison.
The frenetic Broadway spring comes to a thrilling conclusion with the lightning-bolt opening of Lucas Hnath’s “A Doll’s House, Part 2,” a new play so endlessly stimulating that it could give audiences fodder for heated conversation until the fall season is in full swing.
The commercial theater, or for that matter the non-commercial theater, does not regularly present us with new plays of ideas — let alone comedies of ideas. Hnath’s play fairly sets your head spinning with its knotty perspectives. Each scene in this whiplash-inducing (in a good way) play flashes forth a new revelation to absorb and process, although it has only four characters — and, yes, they are all essentially holdovers from the 1879 Ibsen play that Hnath is both honoring and interrogating.