See it if You want to see Gabriel Ebert handle a lengthy, lengthy role; are a super-fan of Ibsen & unfamiliar with Gynt
Don't see it if You can't stand shows with fairy tale characters or with lengthy monologues, hard to tell who the characters are, pointless shows
See it if you're familiar w/Ibsen's towering epic & want to see his rarely-revived play, albeit heavily abridged; you want to see a nice perf by Ebert
Don't see it if you're frustrated w/John Doyle stripping down every revival to within an inch of the show's life. A few sets/props/costumes would help here.
See it if you wish to see a Tour de Force by Gabriel Ebert, A clever reduction in time from the 5 hour original by new man Doyle.Great 4 sided seating
Don't see it if you cannot handle almost two hours without an intermission
See it if you're a fan of John Doyle's directorial style.
Don't see it if you value clear storytelling.
See it if You want to see Gabriel Ebert give it all up for this part. His physicality is intricately woven into his role as Peer. To see a GREAT cast
Don't see it if U expect the action to unfold like Ibsen wrote it. U want cute little costumed trolls and dreamy music. Are not familiar with John Doyle.
See it if Enjoy abridged interpretations of Ibsen. Lead actor is terrific.
Don't see it if Want to save 2 hrs of your life.
See it if you're looking for a show with innovative staging. Gabriel Ebert is mesmerizing.
Don't see it if you can't sit through 2 hours without an intermission or if you aren't familiar with the plot.
See it if You don't care what a director does to misinterpret Ibsen and you can tolerate staging you have seen before.
Don't see it if You expect the original intentions and poetr of the author to be evident SOMEWHERE. Felt sorry for the actors - who are very good.
"This telling 'Peer Gynt' is both more digestible and less flavorful than usual…If this production lacks the teeming, motley exuberance that pulses in Ibsen’s text, it definitely distills the intriguing philosophical essence of a play that still seems unsettlingly relevant…By the time he comes to his tête-à-tête with the onion, we may not feel like weeping, as Peer does. But in this production, we can definitely understand why and how he’s reached this pathetic moment of communion."
"The spirit of austerity courses through John Doyle’s production of 'Peer Gynt.'...This slimming down has been effected though a strict renunciation of many pleasures. Gone is most of 'Peer Gynt’s' humor, gone is the pageantry, gone is the verse...The strong cast helps create memorable scenes...But even the production’s most playful bits have little sense of fun. It is elegant and thoughtful, but hampered by priggishness."
"His version is directed and acted with considerable imagination, but there’s no denying that it amounts to a 'Peer Gynt' suite, a production that whets the appetite rather than sating it...What we have here, then, is something not unlike a pencil sketch of 'Peer Gynt,' one that demands an enormous amount of imaginative participation on the part of the audience. But the play, with its protean symbolism, amply rewards such participation, and you’ll have no trouble following this compressed version, even though the cuts are so deep that it will sometimes feel as though you’re watching a synopsis of the play being acted out onstage."
"Doyle gets an E for effort, but the production gets a D for dull. Peer’s adventure leads him to women, trolls and, in the play’s dramatic high point, an onion — as he tries to peel back the layers to his true self. As Peer, Gabriel Ebert gives his all. So does the onion. Doyle is the incoming artistic director at Classic Stage Company. This leaves lots of room for improvement in coming productions."
"A man peels an onion live onstage in John Doyle's adaptation…Would you believe that this is the most dramatically compelling moment of the whole play? Unlike most of the other scenes, the stakes feel real and palpable — and may even bring tears to our eyes. Unfortunately, the remainder of this cleverly conceived but confusingly executed production is as sleepy as it is opaque…Doyle has reduced a messy and fantastical tale into one that is merely dull. "
"Handsome to look at, well-cast, and a total bore…The production is so stripped back that it is often hard to follow...It is often virtually impossible to tell where Peer is and to whom he is speaking. Given this stark approach, the play's many mystical and/or fantastical aspects are denuded of their power. God help you if you are unfamiliar with the play; chances are, you may find yourself totally lost…Doyle's staging is a bold experiment -- but experiments sometimes fail."
"John Doyle has turned Ibsen’s epic 'Peer Gynt' into a kind of Everyman morality play which demands total concentration from the audience to follow this stripped down version. While Ibsen’s first four acts are drastically cut, the fifth act which seems to show Peer’s redemption is given extended play. Some will find this a fascinating reinterpretation of an unwieldy classic. Others will find that the approach is tediously too much of the same."
"An admirable, absorbing production...To tell this richly metaphorical and philosophical tale with no set and no props is a remarkable accomplishment, requiring considerable artistic skill. Doyle is aided by an able cast, featuring Gabriel Ebert as Peer, at the center of his universe. 'Peer Gynt' is a challenging ride – and that’s what makes it so worthwhile...Expect more thought-provoking, soul-searching theatre at CSC."