LA Theatre Works is my new favorite place to go to be entertained. In April, the show that was presented was Henrik Ibsen’s An Enemy of the People. For those who don’t know about the show, it tells the the story of a small town in which one man tries to fix a major wrong, and while supported at the beginning, his initiative ends up being stopped in its tracks “for the good of the many.” I found the play to be extremely timely, and the message was, in fact, appropriate to what is going on in the United States now.
The show was really good, and I loved how the cast brought the play to life. It’s amazing that so few people can stand in as a lot more, especially when it comes to crowd scenes. Some of the non-famous cast were working on their first LA Theatre Works show, and it was impossible to tell their skill set from the more experienced actors. They all pulled off accents beautifully, and when they needed to jump from one voice to another, their work seemed effortless. As an audience member, I found that really impressive. I’ve seen other plays in different venues where more experienced actors were unable to pull off that feat. Kudos to these young actors and their bright talent!
Richard Kind was also fantastic as Dr. Stockmann. I loved how he battled with himself to share the bad news about the town’s hot springs. The earnestness that was portrayed felt very real, and very reminiscent of some of the political Environmental Protection Agency issues that have been in the news. Do you tell the truth, or lie to continue to benefit everyone, including yourself? Dr. Stockmann takes a very brave path, and I applaud Richard Kind for his performance and integrity in playing him as strongly as he did. Dr. Stockmann never wavers, and neither did Richard Kind.
Gregory Harrison was also great as The Mayor. He played the duality of the role, a man wanting to support his brother, Dr. Stockmann, and a nervous politician worried about the survival of his town, really well. In fact, his performance reminded me of the many masks all people wear throughout their daily lives due to the situations they find themselves in. Yes, The Mayor is corrupt, but he also genuinely cares about making sure his town survives. It’s a real reminder that even people that others deem “wrong” or “evil” have their own justifications for their actions.
I don’t think I can find enough words for the rest of the cast either. Everyone was absolutely wonderful and gave their all to bring a play which is notoriously difficult to sit through to life.
As a whole, I enjoyed the play because of the performances of the cast. However, due to the length of the production as well as the terminology used, it was difficult to sit still at times throughout the show. I made it through, and I’m really glad I did. I can’t wait to see the next show at LA Theatre Works!