When Henrik Ibsen first wrote Peer Gynt, it appeared as a poem not a play. In 1876, he adapted the work into the epic play known to theatre audiences and classical music lovers via Grieg's "Peer Gynt Suites."
It's the play's origin in poetry, however, that inspired translator Kenneth McLeish to infuse his modern version with actual verse during Peer's fantasies. Los Angeles company Son of Semele presents the West Coast premiere of McLeish's Peer Gynt: Part One Nov. 30-Dec. 16 at the Whitmore Lindley Theatre Center.
Edgar Landa stars as the adventurous dreamer Peer, who travels from his home to the world of the trolls, where he learns to become a man. Erica Rice is his lover, Solveig, and Mina Kedar plays his poor, widowed mother.
Nicholas C. Avila directs. The design team includes David Edwards (set), Paul DeDoes (lighting), Ben Ruhren (costumes, choreography) and Al Sgro (sound, original music).
Tickets are $15. The Whitmore Lindley Theatre Center is located at 11006 Magnolia Boulevard in North Hollywood. For reservations, call (323) 860 9970. Son of Semele Ensemble is on the web at http://www.sonofsemele.org. — By Christine Ehren