It's awkward, jarring and funny, but never in a way that takes cheap jabs at the lilliput male actors, who, along with the women, are uniformly amazing. Director Lee Breuer has taken what's now the leaden melodrama of the
original script and blown it open in all sorts of madcap ways, with ghoulish characters out of Nora's dreams walking around on giant stilts and scenes that are lushly overdramatized with goofy choreography and constant live piano underscoring. The final, iconic scene, when Nora leaves Torvald, is now an opera, with the couple's every gesture hauntingly echoed by dozens of opera boxes of upper-class marionette couples. Naked and bald in an opera box on high, stripped of her Victorian vestments and silly little-girl ringlet hairdo, Nora disappears before the unbelieving eyes of Torvald, near-naked himself, who runs up the theater aisle madly screaming her name. It's one of those mesmerizing, jaw-dropping moments that hardcore, fussy theater lovers wait months, sometimes years, for.
Is it gay in any literal sense? Not really, but it's camp at its highest, smartest level. And hey, there's even simulated tall-woman-on-short-man oral sex, and vice versa. What
more could you ask for? Again, it's at St. Ann's Warehouse through this Sunday, March 8.
-- TIM MURPHY
Previously > The stars come out to Defy Inequality