Erin Wilhelmi, Stephen McKinley Henderson, Julie White and Jayne Houdyshell. Photo by Julieta Cervantes.
By Lucas Hnath
Directed by Sam Gold
Julie White, Stephen McKinley Henderson, Jayne Houdyshell, Erin Wilhelmi
Scenic Design: Miriam Buether
Costume Design: David Zinn
First Performance March 30, 2017
Opening April 27, 2017
Final Performance July 23, 2017, extended through September 24, 2017
Submit a review for A Doll’s House, Part 2
In the final scene of Ibsen’s 1879 ground-breaking masterwork, Nora Helmer makes the shocking decision to leave her husband and children, and begin a life on her own. This climactic event — when Nora slams the door on everything in her life — instantly propelled world drama into the modern age.
In ‘A Doll’s House, Part 2,’ many years have passed since Nora’s exit. Now, there’s a knock on that same door. Nora has returned. But why? And what will it mean for those she left behind?
Ben Brantley – New York Times
A door that was once slammed so hard that the noise could be heard around the world is now being knocked upon, most insistently. In the opening moments of Lucas Hnath’s smart, funny and utterly engrossing new play, which opened Thursday night at the Golden Theater, audience members laugh at the sound of the demanding tattoo being beaten upon that door.
Jeremy Gerard – Deadline
The last show to open on Broadway this season turns out to be the funniest, and the sharpest play of the year, which is a pleasure to report. A Doll’s House, Part 2, which opened tonight at the Golden Theatre, is not so much a sequel to Henrik Ibsen’s proto-feminist groundbreaker of 1879 as it is a heartfelt meditation on how far we’ve come in the century and a quarter since. If that sounds more like a master’s thesis than a comedy, you need only know that Lucas Hnath’s 90-minute quartet contains five S-bombs, four F-bombs and the return of Laurie Metcalf (after the futility of Misery) in full blossom as Ibsen’s Nora Helmer, last seen making the most famous stage exit in the canon not involving a bear.
Marilyn Stasio – Variety
So, did Godot ever show up? Were George and Martha able to save their marriage? And whatever happened to Nora after she slammed the door? In “A Doll’s House, Part 2,” Lucas Hnath pulls off the dramatic parlor trick of bringing back Ibsen’s iconic heroine — in the incomparable person of Laurie Metcalf — to answer that question 15 years later. Despite the modern idiom that Hnath slings around with gleeful humor, it’s amazing how women’s lives haven’t changed.
Maya Stanton – Entertainment Weekly
You wouldn’t think that a continuation of Henrik Ibsen’s A Doll’s House — a groundbreaking, 1879 feminist drama about a wife who leaves an unhappy marriage to find herself — would be funny, but humor abounds in playwright Lucas Hnath’s creative sequel. Directed by Sam Gold, A Doll’s House, Part 2 imagines what would happen if, 15 years later, Ibsen’s Nora were to walk back through the door she exited at the close of his third act. At the time, Ibsen’s decision to have his protagonist abdicate her marital and familial responsibilities in favor of self-discovery and personal happiness was a shocking one, seen as a threat to the institution of marriage as a whole; Hnath’s script supposes that the fictional Nora has been confronted with similar accusations as her creator, and deals with them in head-on, often gleeful fashion.
David Rooney – The Hollywood Reporter
One of the most famous exits in modern drama prompts an entrance that bristles with tension, provocation and unexpected subversive humor in Lucas Hnath’s terrific new play, A Doll’s House, Part 2. After acquiring a rising-star reputation with spiky works like The Christians, about evangelical megachurches, and Red Speedo, about doping in professional sports, Hnath makes an audacious Broadway debut with this pithy sequel. It delivers explosive laughs while also posing thoughtful questions about marriage, gender inequality and human rights that reverberate across the almost 140 years since Henrik Ibsen’s original was first produced in 1879.
Charles McNulty – Los Angeles Times
Gold’s direction isn’t always precisely calibrated, but Laurie Metcalf redeems the production with her sorcery. She deserves a Tony Award not just for her nimble performance as Nora in this millennial sequel to Ibsen’s classic but for her longstanding service to the American theater.
Alexis Soloski – The Guardian
This shouldn’t put ticket buyers off. The play’s sophisticated arguments about what we owe to ourselves and to each other, about how liberation can become illiberal are welcome mat enough. Step in.
Matthew Murray – Talkin’ Broadway
Even a door that’s slammed rarely stays shut forever. Certainly in his classically controversial play A Doll’s House, Henrik Ibsen intended it to represent finality: When, at its end, Nora Helmer exited her home and her marriage to Torvald, it was obvious she was to be gone for good. Not so fast, argues Lucas Hnath in his funny and insightful new play that just opened at the John Golden with the prosaic and provocative title A Doll’s House, Part 2: It’s exactly the qualities that make Nora so headstrong that doom her to an existence that’s intolerable in a different way. In other words, her story wasn’t finished. It was only just beginning, and her ultimate reckoning is still to come.
Jesse Green – Vulture
Naturally it begins with a knock on the door. How else could a play called A Doll’s House, Part 2 start, when Part 1, the 1879 Ibsen classic, ended with that same door slamming? In the original, Nora Helmer, wife and mother and mischievous little squirrel, leaves her family (and shocks the world) in hopes of remaking herself as a coherent person outside the strangling orthodoxies of church, law, and men. In Lucas Hnath’s thrilling imaginary sequel, opening tonight on Broadway, she has achieved just that.
Joe Dziemianowicz – NY Daily News
A door closes — well, slams — and a window opens to a sequel. Lucas Hnath’s compact and provocative comedy “A Doll’s House, Part 2” picks up after Henrik Ibsen’s 1879 classic ended.
Chris Jones – Chicago Tribune
Hnath, who writes here in a lean, contemporary vernacular although without overt period-busting anachronism, has created a fascinating and frequently very funny little play that is less about the issues raised in “A Doll’s House” than you might expect, and more about returning to greet your former responsibilities and the unrelenting awkwardness of conversations with ex-spouses or former lovers.
Robert Hofler – The Wrap
The highest praise you can give playwright Lucas Hnath is that he should now write a sequel to “A Streetcar Named Desire.” He’s up to the task, as evidenced by his arresting new comedy, “A Doll’s House, Part 2,” which opened Wednesday at the Golden Theatre.