Trending
MOST READ
Best Happy Hour

Best Happy Hour

Best of SA 2013: 4/24/2013
Skin Deeper: Scarlett Johansson as predator in ‘Under the Skin’

Skin Deeper: Scarlett Johansson as predator in ‘Under the Skin’

Screens: One of the first images in Jonathan Glazer’s Under the Skin is a tiny white dot at the center of a black screen. At what are we looking? An eclipse? The sun... By David Riedel 4/16/2014
Beaches Be Trippin\': Five Texas Coast Spots Worth the Drive

Beaches Be Trippin': Five Texas Coast Spots Worth the Drive

Arts & Culture: Let’s face it, most of us Lone Stars view the Texas coast as a poor man’s Waikiki. Hell, maybe just a poor man’s Panama Beach — only to be used... By Callie Enlow 7/10/2013
Alamo Colleges Barely Passed Its Own Accountability Test

Alamo Colleges Barely Passed Its Own Accountability Test

News: After months of passionate protest, petitions and public forums, faculty, students and administration of the five Alamo Community Colleges let out... By Mary Tuma 4/16/2014
‘Jodorowsky’s Dune’ Documents a Cult Director’s Ambitious Failure

‘Jodorowsky’s Dune’ Documents a Cult Director’s Ambitious Failure

Screens: We’ve all seen David Lynch’s 1984 film, Dune. For kids of the ’80s and ’90s, it was a staple in Dad’s VHS library. As an adult looking back on it, or as a... By James Woodard 4/16/2014
Calendar

Search hundreds of restaurants in our database.

Search hundreds of clubs in our database.

Follow us on Instagram @sacurrent

Print Email

Theater

Classic Theatre mounts one sturdy 'Hedda'

Photo: Courtesy photo, License: N/A

Courtesy photo

Asia Ciaravino dual-weilds as the titular Hedda Gabler.


Hedda Gabler

$10-$20

8pm Thu-Sat, 3pm matinee Sun

Sterling Houston Theatre at Jump-Start

108 Blue Star

(800) 838-3006

brownpapertickets.com

classictheatre.org

Through May 29

The Classic Theatre wraps up its season with a solid production of Henrik Ibsen’s famous Hedda Gabler (now only occasionally known by its working title, The Real Housewives of Sør-Trøndelag County). While other plays by Ibsen grapple with the Big Picture — including the public policy analysis of An Enemy of the People or the staggering metaphysical leaps of The Master Builder — Hedda is among the playwright’s bourgeois-iest, taking aim at the perils and paradoxes of a comfortable middle-class marriage. At the center of the plot, of course, is poor, bored Hedda, a dame with a head full of dreams, but a body full of baby; there’s no escape now from her disastrously ill-judged marriage to George Tesman, a clueless academic who lives only to make his pampered bride happy.

But very little can make Hedda happy: She’s arguably the most desperate housewife of the 19th century. And when Hedda’s previous flame — the brilliant, dissolute Eilert Loevborg — crosses the fjord and her threshold, the stage is set for Ibsen’s devastating dissection of genteel relationships and every marriage’s delicate balance of power.

Indeed, I give nothing away by saying that there is, in fact, exactly one thing that makes Hedda happy: power. (Well, power makes everybody happy, but especially Hedda.) And Asia Ciaravino makes for a particularly ravenous Hedda, probing for weakness in the first two acts, and then pouncing in the last two. But such a hunger comes at a price: Hers is also the least sympathetic Hedda I’ve seen, full of poison, but little honey. As the clueless professor, Andrew Thornton proves that he’s among the most consistently accomplished actors in San Antonio; if you want to see some excellent timing, enjoy Tesman’s clumsy riff on the day’s events: “No, not a strange thing; a very funny thing. No, not a funny thing at all; actually a tragic thing. No, no, that’s too strong. A sad thing, yes; yes, a very sad thing happened.” Lesser actors might milk this histrionically, but Thornton tosses it off while settling into a divan. Tesman has just bumbled his way through one possible definition of modernity, and does it as Tesman does everything: unwittingly.

The supporting roles are well cast and reflect the gamut of Hedda’s obstacles to happiness, from the oppressive, maternal clucking of Auntie Juliana (Terri Peña Ross) to the lecherous advances of the odious, power-mad Judge Brack (Allan Ross). Especially affecting are Eric Geyer and Gypsy Pantoja as the star-crossed lovers who represent for Hedda the road — and marriage — not taken. Allan Ross’ handsome set wittily exaggerates the text’s abundant floral imagery, with oh-so-suggestive flowers lurking in the paintings, the table-settings, and even the upholstery. Hedda, of course, is no shrinking violet — more like a Venus Flytrap. (Or perhaps stinkweed.)

We welcome user discussion on our site, under the following guidelines:

To comment you must first create a profile and sign-in with a verified DISQUS account or social network ID. Sign up here.

Comments in violation of the rules will be denied, and repeat violators will be banned. Please help police the community by flagging offensive comments for our moderators to review. By posting a comment, you agree to our full terms and conditions. Click here to read terms and conditions.
comments powered by Disqus