Henrik Ibsen’s exposition of society’s hypocrisies rarely made him friends; his controversial examination of infidelity and flawed moral judgment in “Ghosts” was tagged “one of the filthiest things ever written in Scandinavia.”
With the guidance of Reverend Manders (Steve O’Connell), Helen (Saren Nofs- Snyder) has built an orphanage and dedicated it to the memory of her late husband, a pillar of the community; her son Oswald (Charles Riffenburg) returns for the ceremony and falls in love with the family’s maid (Florence Ann Romano). Bleak, repressed, Scandinavian tragedy ensues.
The script is fraught with bloated melodrama; unfortunately the performers enhance it further with teary line readings and unsophisticated, puffed-up judgment. The patriarch’s indiscretions are painful; its horrific consequences are not believable. Anders Jacobson’s set makes the most of space and era; Katy Peterson’s lighting design transforms the dysfunctional house into a literal and moral conflagration. It’s the most believable emotion on stage. (Lisa Buscani)
Boho Theatre Ensemble, 7016 N. Glenwood, (866)811-4111, through July 18