BWW Review: A DOLL’S HOUSE, PART 2 at Florida Repertory TheatreMarch 03, 2022
Playing now in Florida Rep’s ArtStage Studio Theatre!
by Elizabeth James Mar. 3, 2022
Florida Repertory Theatre’s reimagined production of A DOLL’S HOUSE, PART 2 tells the story of Nora, a woman who left walked out and left her family 15 years prior, returning to her former house to settle some issues that have arisen.
Florida Rep originally had planned to stage the show in 2020, and it ended up being shut down because of COVID right before it was set to open. Though they did make a recorded version of their 2020 production available, they decided to bring it back in 2022 in a different space and with a couple new leading actors, in a reimagined version.
What a brilliant show and production. Suzanne O’Donnell plays a fiery Nora, with lots of energy, wit, and determination. David Breitbarth plays Torvald, her former (or so she thought) husband. Their energy was electric, and their acting was stunning. O’Donnell is so charismatic, and she really brought a new side to Nora that I loved. Breitbarth is a wonderful actor, and I thought he did very well combatting and contrasting Nora’s passionate anger. The housekeeper, Anne Marie, is played by the fabulous Viki Boyle. She kept the audience laughing with her sudden exclamations of expletives, and she brought the perfect level of concern and frustration to the role. Nora and Torvald’s now-grown daughter, Emmy, is played by Aishling Pembroke, and she is very matter-of-fact and smart. Emmy has grown up without her mother, and she has her own ideas about life and love, and she’s incredibly mature. It is fascinating to see how little interest she has in bringing Nora into her life, and how she handles meeting her for the first time as an adult. Boyle and Pembroke were both part of Florida Rep’s 2020 production of the show, and it was fun to see them reprise their roles.
Chris Clavelli returned to direct this production, alongside a creative team that includes Bert Scott as the set designer, Jacquelyn Loy as the costume designer, Todd O. Wren as the lighting designer, and Katie Lowe as the sound designer. I thought that the ArtStage was the perfect space for this show, and I am glad it ended up being reimagined here rather than the Arcade. It created an intimate feeling that is right for this story, and the creative team did a great job using this space and bringing the production to life.
No matter your feelings on marriage, this show is bound to resonate with you in some way. I appreciated Nora’s independence and determination, and was captivated by how the rest of the characters felt about what she did. Each of their feelings toward the situation was so understandable and justified, but so were Nora’s actions. It’s a complex show, and I thoroughly enjoyed it.
How To Get Tickets
Check out A DOLL’S HOUSE, PART 2 at Florida Rep now through March 27! For more info and to buy tickets, click here: https://www.floridarep.org/the-season/a-dolls-house-part-2-2/.