I'd never actually seen A Doll's House, just a couple of adaptations (including the 20th Century set Dollhouse at the Guthrie in 2010 and this bizarro one, also at the JJ Hill House). So I can't tell you what was trimmed** to fit the story into 95 intermissionless minutes. But I can tell you that it feels a full and complete story with nothing missing. Nora thinks she's living the perfect life with husband, home, and children, until it all comes crashing down around her when it's revealed that eight years ago she illegally borrowed money to save her husband's life. Her husband Torvald treats her like a doll, calling her his skylark or songbird, but the moment he finds out that she has been living a life that didn't conform to his ideas of her, he rejects her (see also: Victor Newman). Nora takes desperate measures in order to save herself, to live her life as a human being first, rather than just somebody's wife and mother.
|Mackenzie Shaw as Nora|
|drama in the James J. Hill House|
Only four performances remain of A Doll's House, two more this weekend and two next weekend. Although told through a male playwright and adapter/director, Nora's story is very much a feminist story, a woman's story, and one that still needs to be told, and is beautifully and effectively told by this new young company.
*You can read about all of the holiday shows I've seen here.
**I can't tell you what was cut from the play, but director/adapter Craig Johnson can. See comments below.