Classic Theatre mounts one sturdy 'Hedda'
Published: May 18, 2011
There are some missteps. At the least, Hedda is clearly bucking for the Current’s Worst Prop Award: Loevborg’s apparently path-breaking tome on the cultural history of Europe is ridiculously flimsy — it actually looks like a coloring book. (Just fill in with your choice of crayons and voilà! The professoriate is yours.) And under Tony Ciaravino’s direction, the first two acts — until intermission — are occasionally languid, with the opening night’s ensemble seeming at times tentative, as if still easing into their roles. The last half-hour, however, is gripping stuff, as Hedda’s web of deceit unravels to the ruin of all. At the climax, the patrons in my row practically shat themselves. (You and your undergarments have been warned.)
As it concludes its third year, the Classic Theatre seems to be settling into a consistent house style: experimental for Shakespeare, but straightforward and naturalistic for Chekhov, Ibsen, Williams, et al. There’s nothing wrong with that, of course, though it might have been nice to see Hedda performed with robots. (I’m not making that up, by the way; Heddatron has been making the rounds, most recently in Austin.) In the meantime, the Classic Theatre serves up a classic in classical style, so why not pay Hedda a house call? Rumor has it that she’s bored, bored, bored.
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