Lack of dimension is the real `Enemy' in Ibsen play

Theater Review

September 09, 2006|By J. Wynn Rousuck | J. Wynn Rousuck,Sun Theater Critic

It's surprising that the great filmmaker Frank Capra never made a movie of Henrik Ibsen's An Enemy of the People. Like the title character in Capra's Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, Ibsen's protagonist, Dr. Stockmann, takes on the political power structure. And like George Bailey in Capra's It's a Wonderful Life, Dr. Stockmann is -- at least initially -- concerned with the welfare of the people.

But at Washington's Shakespeare Theatre, with the exception of Joseph Urla's carefully nuanced Dr. Stockmann, most of the portrayals of Ibsen's characters come across merely as foils, lacking dimension or shading.

If you go An Enemy of the People will be performed at Shakespeare Theatre, 450 Seventh St. N.W., Washington, through Oct. 22. Tickets are $19-$76. Information: 877-487-8849 or

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