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Perez Reviews: An Enemy Of The People

| Filed under: Broadway BabiesPerez Reviews

Doing a revival of An Enemy Of The People seemed like a great idea on paper. A classic play by Henrik Ibsen that is politically charged; timed to coincide with the presidential election. Unfortunately, Mitt Romney and Big Bird and all that silliness is far more entertaining than the tepid drama we saw on stage Tuesday night at the Manhattan Theater Cub's revival. It wasn't for lack of trying, though!

The show is brilliantly acted by a stellar ensemble that includes multiple Tony winner Boyd Gaines and Richard Thomas. It's almost worth seeing just for the performances!

The set design is also quite wonderful, surprising and revelatory. We were not expecting so much!

Our biggest gripe is with the actual source material itself. A play written over 130 years ago about life in Norway and the political struggles of the time is just not that relevant to modern-day audiences in America. At least The Best Man, which had a very successful recent revival, felt familiar and current - even though that play was written by Gore Vidal in the mid 1960s.

And, this new adaptation of An Enemy Of The People by Rebecca Lenkiewicz failed to add much warmth or heart to the script, instead injecting it with touches of humor - some which worked and some which really did not at all.

What An Enemy Of The People does really well is INTENSITY! So if you're a fan of actors acting intensely, or just a hardcore Ibsen fan, then you should check out this revival. If not, just stay at home and watch the upcoming debates!

P.S. There's a reason why A Doll's House and Hedda Gabler are revived more frequently. Those Ibsen plays are far superior!

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4 comments to “Perez Reviews: An Enemy Of The People

  1. DrBroadway says – reply to this


    So now you are "reviewing" non-musical drama? Do you even know who Henrik Ibsen is? My God, you are a joke. Review drag shows…that seems to be your forte.

  2. tabitha says – reply to this


    Dear Perez, I have to respectfully disagree with your statement concerning the relevance of Ibsen's play to a modern audience. My first inclination is to ask if you have even ever read the play? My second is to wonder if the performance of the play you saw was so bad that Ibsen's scathing social critique–one that transcends time by all estimations excepting yours–was lost because of bad acting. But you say this is not the case. So my final comment would be that you should spend some thinking about why you didn't "get it" when most people do. My guess is that the lack of understanding lies on your part and not on the text's part. You may want to also spend time actually reading Ibsen and then reading the texts that both literary scholars and drama scholars have written about his plays, and then, possibly, you may begin to understand what you missed. I know you have friends who work in literature. Why don't you ask Omar to explain it to you? I know he can.

  3. 3

    broadway perez

  4. teeter totter says – reply to this


    Who can afford Broadway plays? Last play I saw was at a local repertory company and cost me $15 (senior price) for a hilarious British murder mystery spoof.