Review: IBSEN'S GHOST at George Street Playhouse-A Hilarious Must-See

IBSEN’S GHOST at George Street Playhouse

By: Jan. 26, 2024
Review: IBSEN'S GHOST at George Street Playhouse-A Hilarious Must-See

“Ours was a blessed union of mind, body and stagecraft.”  By Suzannah Thoreson Ibsen in Ibsen’s Ghost

Are you ready for some hearty laughs and great entertainment?  That’s just what you’ll find at George Street Playhouse (GSP) with their current production of Ibsen’s Ghost.  Written by Charles Busch and directed by Carl Andress, this show should be on your entertainment schedue. The cast gets our rave review for bringing this ingenious story to full life on the New Brunswick stage. Billed as “An Irresponsible Biographical Fantasy,” it will be performed through February 4th. 

Review: IBSEN'S GHOST at George Street Playhouse-A Hilarious Must-See

Set in Oslo, Norway in June of 1906 the story occurs shortly after the death of the famed playwright and director, Henrik Ibsen. His wife, Suzannah Thoresen Ibsen is striving to preserve her husband’s artistic legacy in the face of a number of distressing events.  The personal letters between Suzannah and Henrik are flatly rejected for publication by editor, George Elstad. Ibsen’s illegitimate son, Wolf Dahlquist unexpectedly shows up looking for a memento from his father’s life.  The renowned playwright’s protégée of long ago, Hannah Solberg reveals that she kept a defamatory diary that she hopes to publish. And while Suzannah is anguished over these circumstances, her stepmother who is also an author, Magdalene Kragh Thorensen and the devoted housekeeper, Gerda are ever present. More surprises are in store when the local conjurer and exterminator, The Rat Wife comes on the scene to display her powers.  The story is a fast-paced frolic with a little romance, and plenty of laughs.

Review: IBSEN'S GHOST at George Street Playhouse-A Hilarious Must-See

The cast masters Charles Busch’s clever repartee and the well placed salacious innuendos, without missing a beat.  You never know what will happen next with the group of colorful characters. The troupe includes Charles Busch as Suzannah Thoresen Ibsen; Thomas Gibson as Wolf Dahlquist; Jen Cody as Gerda; Christopher Borg as George Elstad and The Rat Wife; Judy Kaye as Magdalene Kragh Thoresen;  and Jennifer Van Dyck as Hanna Solberg. Kate Hampton will serve as an understudy for Susannah Thoresen Ibsen.

Review: IBSEN'S GHOST at George Street Playhouse-A Hilarious Must-See

Memorable scenes abound in Ibsen’s Ghost such as Magdalene Kragh Thorensen bragging about her own writing career; Suzannah and Hanna both claiming to be Ibsen’s inspiration for The Dolls House; Suzannah and Wolf’s flirtations; Suzannah and Gerda drinking brandy; Suzannah and Wolf planning to steal Hanna’s diary; Hanna reenacting the theft of her diary; and The Rat Lady healing Gerda’s crippling infirmity.

Review: IBSEN'S GHOST at George Street Playhouse-A Hilarious Must-See

The Creative Team has done a top job of bringing Ibsen’s Ghost to the New Brunswick stage.  The Team includes set design by Shoko Kambara; costume design by Gregory Gale; lighting design by Ken Billington; sound design by Jill BC Du Boff and Ien De Nio; and wig design by Bobbie Zlotnik. The Dialect Coach is Rebecca Simon; Avery Trunko is the Production Stage Manager; Scott Goldman is the Stage Manager; and Christopher J. Bailey is the Production Manager. The casting is by McCorkle Casting.

We applaud George Street Playhouse's Artistic Director, David Saint and Managing Director, Edgar Herrera for continuing to bring metro area audiences excellent entertainment. 

George Street Playhouse at the New Brunswick Performing Arts Center (NBPAC) is located at 9 Livingston Avenue in the heart of the city’s theatre and restaurant district with convenient mass transit and parking options available. Ibsen’s Ghost is being performed in NBPAC's Arthur Laurents Theater through February 4th with matinee and evening shows available.  It runs for 2 hours with one intermission. For ticketing and more information, please visit  https://www.georgestreetplayhouse.org/ and call (732) 246-7717.  

Photo Credit: T. Charles Erickson



Videos