PLAYBILL PICKS: The Stage's Ten Greatest Christmas Scenes

By Robert Simonson
13 Dec 2012

Jan Maxwell and Janet McTeer in A Doll's House.
Photo by Joan Marcus

A Doll's House
OK, not exactly a happy story. So much of dire consequence happens in the Helmer household during Henrik Ibsen's 1879 masterpiece that it's easy to forget that Nora's downfall — and subsequent spiritual awakening — all take place during Christmas. The play begins with Nora returning home after an expedition of holiday shopping. Later, Nora, while trying to distract her husband Torvald, desperately dances the tarantella she is rehearsing for a holiday costume party. Torvald himself doesn't like the season much, saying, "Do you think I don't know what a lot is wanted for housekeeping at Christmas-time?" Certainly, by the time Nora has slammed her famous door, Christmas is the last thing on the couple's mind.

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