Ghosts Closing (Theater and Galleries) The Short List (Theater)

When: Thursdays-Saturdays, 7 p.m. and Sundays, 2 p.m. Continues through Feb. 20 2011

In theater, the only thing that gets old faster than comedy is shock. Consider Henrik Ibsen's once-controversial 1882 drama about Helene Alving, a widow hounded by secrets and regrets, and her ailing son, Oswald, who's going the way of his dissolute father. For all its roundabout references to incest and venereal disease, it can come across nowadays as starchy and portentous. The trick to keeping it from lapsing into somnambulism is to convey its characters' desperate, doomed resistance to a future determined by their past. Derek Bertelsen's leaden staging for New Rock Theater lacks this sense of struggle--except, now and then, in Brittany Ellis's performance as the haunted heroine (though Ellis is at least 20 years too young for the role). --Zac Thompson

Price: $15-$20

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