Review by Jeanne Kinley Deller:
The amazingly flawless casting of “Ibsen in Chicago” has gifted Seattle audiences with a funny, explosive, and memorable glimpse into trials and tribulations of some of Chicago’s early Scandinavian immigrants. Spot-on, powerfully engaging portrayals from every cast member, and wonderful direction by Seattle Rep’s Braden Abraham, earn this new production by David Grimm an A+.
A zealous and heart-warming portrayal by Annette Toutonghi (Solveig); engagingly keen timing, wit, and perfection from R. Hamilton Wright (Per); escalating comedic skirmishes between Kristen Potter (Helga) and Hannah Ruwe (Elsa) – what more could you ask for? Add Christopher McLinden’s (Hennig) fortitude in attempting to ground his cohorts; and, the roguish, antagonistic moves of Allen Fitzpatrick (Pekka). There you have it: one incredible production.
“Ibsen in Chicago,” on the far lighter side of Ibsen, offers up this superlative play on words, an engaging display of befuddlement and a tangle of humanity. If you’re one who has deemed Ibsen as dark and dreary, you’ll want to give this new World Premier take on Ibsen a shot. Now through March 4 at Seattle Repertory Theatre. Tickets here.
Photos by Alan Alabastro