AudioFile Recommends

by Henrik Ibsen | Read by Tony Abatemarco, Tim DeKay, Jeannie Elias, Calista Flockhart, Gregory Itzin, JoBeth Williams

The last half-hour of this fine production of Ibsen’s 1879 domestic tragedy is completely riveting. Nora (Calista Flockhart) explains to her shocked and confused husband (Tim DeKay) why she must leave her family. The sound effect of her final door slam (heard all over Europe, theater lore maintains) is rendered in this audio as something like a pistol shot. What is just as effective is the comedy that director Rosalind Ayres emphasizes in some earlier scenes. Eva Le Gallienne, a famous Nora, has written about the importance of comic relief in Ibsen, and this production proves that claim without compromising its powerful conclusion. The minor roles of Nora’s children (performed too stridently) are the only weak notes in this exceptional audio drama. G.H © AudioFile 2012, Portland, Maine