Mabou Mines DollHouse | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

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Mabou Mines DollHouse

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It's not the sheer audacity of adapter-director Lee Breuer's concept that carries the Mabou Mines staging of Ibsen's classic. While it's undeniably bold to cast all the men's parts with child-size actors while casting women of normal height and to use a dollhouse set that forces the women to crawl through doorways, what's most astonishing is the way Breuer's idea opens up the play. Though most commentary focuses on Nora's growth from infantile dependency to autonomy, Ibsen was also making the point that men too are diminished by the inequities of traditional marriage. Mark Povinelli's bravura performance as Torvald is a highlight, as is Ricardo Gil's supremely sympathetic Dr. Rank. Understudy Janet Girardeau, a last-minute replacement for Maude Mitchell, brought a subtle shift in maturity and strength to Nora despite an initially cartoonish characterization. Through 12/18: Wed-Thu 7:30 PM, Fri 8 PM, Sat 3 and 8 PM, Sun 2:30 and 7:30 PM, Museum of Contemporary Art, theater, 220 E. Chicago, 312-397-4010, $35-$50.

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