The Victorian Cult of Beauty Infuses Hedda Gabler and Freshwater

. . .But not their productions

Alas, Anne Bogart's determinedly self-conscious production stomps on both truth and fun, equating heavy overdoing with humor and shouting with Victorian solemnity. Ellen Lauren and Tom Nelis, as Mrs. Cameron and her spouse, each snatch a few moments of reality in the general din, but it's puzzling that Bogart, with her scrupulous intelligence, should care so little about the reality behind Woolf's jape, the ideas embedded in it, or the skills needed to execute it convincingly onstage. Even at their most mawkish, the artists Woolf pokes fun at here had a sharper sense of Beauty than that.

No pillar of society: Parker as Hedda, with Cerveris and Stormare
Nigel Parry/CPi
No pillar of society: Parker as Hedda, with Cerveris and Stormare

Details

Hedda Gabler
By Henrik Ibsen, adapted by Christopher Shinn
Roundabout/American Airlines Theatre
227 West 42nd Street, 212-719-1300

Freshwater
By Virginia Woolf
Women's Project
424 West 55th Street, 212-239-6200

mfeingold@villagevoice.com

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