Is it possible to spoil theater’s most famous ending?
If you know anything about A Doll’s House, then you’re probably familiar with its final moment. As such, what happens can’t be spoiled … but how any given revival pulls it off can definitely qualify as a spoiler.
So tread lightly if you haven’t visited the current Broadway remodel yet.
Any production worth its salt must wrestle with how to stage Nora’s infamous departure from the scene.
Now, did the powers behind the latest Great White Way renovation deliberately choose a theater whose back wall faces the Museum of Broadway?
But when the stagers realized this geographic coincidence-cum-kismet, did they decide to place Nora’s farewell doorway so that it perfectly framed the Museum of Broadway’s marquee? Does every sightline see the marquee, or only those close to my particular seat?
Regardless of the intentionality, I bring up these questions because it feels awfully fitting that Nora appears to leave the play’s Hudson Theatre … only to head directly into the Museum of Broadway.
Why? Because this image is an accurate visual encapsulation of the relationship between A Doll’s House’s conclusion and history. If Nora hadn’t jetted out that passageway, would Ibsen’s masterpiece have become, well, Ibsen’s masterpiece? When Nora exited the theater, A Doll’s House entered the annals of theater history; you could draw a straight(ish) line between Nora walking out of the play, and then immediately walking into museums devoted to the history of theater … such as the Museum of Broadway.
And that straight line is this revival’s culminating tableau.