The Morning Report
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I’m looking forward to going tonight to see “Peer Gynt” at La Jolla Playhouse. It’s an adaptation of a dramatic poem by Norweigan playwright Henrik Ibsen, one he never expected to be staged. Ibsen’s more commonly associated with stern theater works like “Hedda Gabler” — that’s the only play of his I’ve read. But director David Schweizer took on the challenge and adapted “Peer Gynt” for the stage. He told KPBS last week he fell “crazy in love with the play” when he was a drama student in the late 1960s and has had a relationship with the play ever since.
I asked the Playhouse for a few numbers from this fanciful theater work, which Ibsen originally scripted for 50 (!) actors. Here are the figures:
• Five acts in the original play; two acts in David Schweizer’s adaptation.
• Three heads on the Troll King.
• 50 actors in the original script.
• Five actors playing 50 characters in the new adaptation.
• Five hours: the original play’s run time; two hours: the new adaptation’s run time.
• Three actors share the role of Peer Gynt — showing the many sides of his nature.
• 144 years have passed since Henrik Ibsen wrote the original script for “Peer Gynt” (in 1857).