A new recording of Henrik Ibsen's masterpiece, starring Calista Flockhart. Nora Helmer has everything a young housewife could want: beautiful children, an adoring husband, and a bright future. But when a carelessly buried secret rises from the past, Nora's well-calibrated domestic ideal starts to crumble. Ibsen's play is as fresh today as it was when it first stormed the stages of 19th-century Europe.
An L.A. Theatre Works full-cast performance featuring: Calista Flockhart as Nora Helmer; Tony Abatemarco as Dr. Rank; Tim Dekay as Torvald Helmer; Jeannie Elias as Anne-Marie and Helene; Gregory Itzin as Nils Krogstad; Jobeth Williams as Mrs. Linde. Translated by Rolf Fjelde. Directed by Rosalind Ayres. Recorded before a live audience at the James Bridges Theater at UCLA School of Theater, Film, and Television.
©2011 L.A. Theatre Works (P)2011 L.A. Theatre Works
I love espionage, legal, and detective thrillers but listen to most genres. Very frequent reviews. No plot spoilers! Please excuse my typos!
Ibsen denied that he was entering the fight for equal rights for women when he wrote A Doll House, but whether or not intended that is exactly what his play does. And it does so with great force and effect.
I first saw the play in London approximately 25 years ago. I liked it then and I like it now. Nora had literally lived her life for her father and then for her husband with no thoughts of her own needs; she has been their doll. When she comes to that realization, the reality that she is a person in her own right, Torvald is too set in his own views of marriage that he fails to see that it should be a true partnership. So he forces Nora to leave so she can live her life rather than living exclusively to meet his needs. My wife and I celebrated the 47th anniversary of our marriage partnership yesterday. Ibsen's drama deserves some credit for making such marriages more common.
The performance is quite good, but Calista Flockhart's Nora character was much better performed than the other parts.
This was a new story to me - I had not seen nor read the play before. I was shocked by the resolution because it seemed so atypical for even the late 19th century -- in fact, I have read since that it was quite a controversial ending and Ibsen was forced to change it for performances in Germany.
In a nutshell, this is a story about a paternalistic and overbearing husband and his secretive and child-like wife; to him, he has a dollhouse of perfect little toys to play with, but to her, she has a gilded cage full of superficial pleasantries but no freedom. The resolution is unexpected for 1879, even though today's reader might think it appropriate.
The production was good, even though I'm not a Calista Flockhart fan, but the children sounded like Munchkins - which is odd, because this is a live production and I'm sure they were really children in the roles. Tim Dekay and Gregory Itzin were wonderful.
Married to a Presbyterian Pastor - 4 grand children - just returned from a mission trip to Russia - Career - Interior designer
I listened to this because it is one of my granddaughter's favorite. I can't say it is one of mine but my granddaughter thought it was thought provoking. She is 17 years of age.
The end brings it all together!
The morality of the characters was intriguing. The end of the book reveals the actual plot and is a complete surprise….I totally love that my granddaughter got it. She realized the deeper meaning of consequences for all behavior. The protagonist' character flaws are artfully presented through the writings in "A Doll House."
Great performance of a classic. I've heard about it for years but never seen the play. Betty Friedan references it in The Feminine Mystique, so that reminded me to get A Doll House. I'm so glad I did. It's not just for feminists, so don't let that idea fool you. It's just good.
This was an excellent performance, but the recording does not match the text of the play in my book. This is a problem because I'm a teacher and would have liked to use the recording to support instruction in class.
Reading, the arts and physical activity clarify, explain, illustrate, and interpret life’s goods and bads.
A Doll's House, Written by: Henrik Ibsen. The audible purchase is a taped performance.
Self-centered people. Materialistically bent. Desires for the esteem of others, willing to be hypocritical within, expecting no one else will ever see. Men treating women as if they were toys for playing with, women being play things but not one with their husbands, neither considering that is ownership not partnership. Then the tragedy of it all.
In a few simple scenes all this is developed through simply two hours of human interaction on a stage. Yet a plot that grows in complexity, is unexpected and thought provoking.
Is it entertaining; does it demonstrate the better way for love, marriage and friendship? All I can say is: magnificent.
Avid listener on my daily commute!
These L.A. Theatre Works productions are some of the best deals on Audible. For just a couple or few bucks, the listener is treated to what amounts to an evening of supremely high quality theatre. That's invaluable to anyone who is not able to see plays nearly as often as one might wish. I had never seen A Doll's House (translated here as A Doll House), never seen the arc of liberation of Torvald's "little chipmunk" (translated here as "little squirrel"), so this production was a real treat and I'm sure I will listen again. To anyone unfamiliar with Ibsen, this play shocked 19th century Europe with its stunning early feminist themes of male oppression and women's liberation. The whole cast is excellent here, and Calista Flockhart so convincing in the role of Nora that it's easy to see why Nora's door slam at the close of the play was said to "reverberate across the roof of the world."
Grade: A. Bechdel test: Pass.
The code of courtly love was evidently still alive in 1879, but needed eradicated. Ibsen must silence all its proponents--for the good of society, both men and women.
The beautiful damsel--who would look good and graceful (even in cheap clothes), especially to her star-dazed lover--must dance and sing, preferably a lively folk dance (tarantella) and a pastoral ditty with a troubadour's instrument (tambourine). And, her lover (lovers, including the doctor) must be willing to foolishly sacrifice himself, either by languishing away for want of her love (the doctor) or otherwise obliterating himself so that his beloved might live. Both of our main characters demonstrate that the code of courtly love is well engrained in their minds.
What's next? Circumvent the law? No, not that law, but the laws of courtly love. How appropriate that the lawyer shows us the way to transition from an outmoded patriarchal, pastoral society to a modern world of The State, the new world view so analyzed by 19th Century intellectuals. Ibsen is never just about individual characters, but always deep in multiple layers, and anthropologists of his day were hot on the trail of the myths that pervade our lives. For all drama for many decades following Ibsen, I always look for this underlying strain of myth, more prominent in drama than perhaps any other literary genre.
Most prominent among these anthropologists was Sir James Frazer, whose first publication in 1890 of The Golden Bough rocked the literary world more than any other book of its time--and was quoted more in my professors' lectures on drama. Audible has a copy of the 1894 edition for $10.95. The sample narration sounds great.
"Captivating performance of a classic drama"
Very High (except for the 'Children's' voices - which are rare, fortunately)
A Doll House stands alone - a classic
Nora - Calista Flockhart brings high energy to this role
When Nora's deception becomes apparent and is told,"Obviously you don't have the vaguest idea of what you have involved yourself in"
The tension builds inexorably, broken by humour and realisation
"Superfical wife, superficial controlling husband"
No. The couple are as superficial as each other. He is (amoung other things) a control freak, she is a kept woman obsessed with beauty and money. Realization dawns and she leaves. The story ends without addressing child custody, where she would go and what on earth she will do.
No. I didn't mind it, but not sure who would want to hear the play. You are excluded from a little bit of humour relying on sound effects. The door slamming could have been a gun-shot from as he commits suicide. You don't know if the children where with her or left behind, from what you pick up, the later probably.
No, but I would try more dramatized audios.
From an entertainment point of view and at the price the audio was enjoyable. The cast sound like they put on a good show.
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