Stage Review

Hedda Gabler (2009)

EW's GRADE
D

Details Opening Date: Jan 25, 2009; Lead Performance: Mary-Louise Parker; Writer: Christopher Shinn; Director: Ian Rickson; Genre: Drama

Arson, gunplay, orchestrating an ex-lover's suicide — it's an ordinary day for Henrik Ibsen's famously bored housewife, Hedda Gabler. And Cate Blanchett is up for every dirty deed: Her Hedda is an astounding mass of contradictions — spoiled child, schoolmarm, shrinking violet, flirt, predator, victim — each more mesmerizing than the next. The entire Sydney Theatre Company production (at the Brooklyn Academy of Music through March 26) is buoyed by Blanchett's magnetic turn, though her costars make indelible impressions: Hugo Weaving taps into the judge's humanity and his villainy, and Anthony Weigh, aided by Andrew Upton's savvy adaptation, makes Hedda's husband more man than mouse. Good thing — otherwise she'd have him for supper.

Originally posted Mar 10, 2006 Published in issue #868 Mar 17, 2006 Order article reprints