Hedda Gabler: Makes you watch

Publicity photo for Hedda Gabler, United Players

Powerhouse actors: Lola Clair as Thea and Hayley Sullivan as Hedda
(Photo: Nancy Caldwell)

Hedda Gabler rides the tension between realism and melodrama. This United Players production gets that combo right enough of the time to provide a consistently intriguing, often impressive evening.

Playwright Henrik Ibsen is known as the father of theatrical realism and, to a degree, that makes sense when you look at Hedda Gabler: the title character’s psychology is complex and her story is firmly rooted in the social realities of her time and place (late nineteenth-century Norway). But Hedda Gabler is driven by so many plot twists and so much high-stakes scheming and shock that it’s also a potboiler. (Think Succession but with more taffeta.)

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