By Lisa Schwarzbaum
Updated March 17, 2020 at 02:55 AM EDT
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Hedda Gabler

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type
  • Stage

For years, Kate Burton has lived a regular-size life as an ”average” actor, wife, and mother in measured contrast to the outsize reputation of her late father, Richard Burton, and his ex-wife — her stepmother — Elizabeth Taylor. Now, in one exciting fit of play and player, legacy and temperament are rewarded in a striking new production of Ibsen’s famous 1890 play. Burton stars as the unhappy Hedda, who turns her unhappiness into the ruination of others before ruining herself. But instead of playing the role monstrously big, Burton scales the tragic heroine to modern, everyday size. And in so doing, she exposes the accessible, ”average” soul of a frustrated woman too smart by half. Such a freeing interpretation wouldn’t be possible without the spiky new adaptation by Jon Robin Baitz; the full-blooded performances of Michael Emerson as Hedda’s overmatched husband and Harris Yulin as the overpowering Judge Brack; and especially the cobweb-clearing direction of Nicholas Martin.

Episode Recaps

Hedda Gabler

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