Creator of such epic projects as “Fanny and Alexander” and “Scenes From a Marriage” -- both later edited into feature-length format -- Ingmar Bergman hardly seems the go-to guy when it comes to condensing an existing script.
Yet “Nora,” Bergman’s briskly abbreviated version of Ibsen’s “A Doll’s House,” translated to the English by Frederick J. Marker and Lise-Lone Marker, distills Ibsen’s overflowing themes into a bitter but bracing demitasse.
First produced in the early ‘80s, the play receives a near-optimum staging from director Dana Jackson at Pacific Resident Theatre. In uniformly cogent performances, a superlative cast cuts to the emotional heart of Ibsen’s masterwork.
Casting petite and gamine Jeanette Driver as Nora and towering, obviously older Brad Greenquist as her husband, Torvald, emphasizes Torvald’s complete domination of his child-like wife. The actors’ inspired physicality -- with Torvald looming and Nora seductively cringing -- points up the underlying creepiness of their near-pederastic marriage.