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Review: Hedda Gabler at Studio Theatre

Arty Pants
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My weekends have been a lot of my own personal version of #adulting lately. On Fridays, I’ll enjoy a great dinner on 14th Street (Le Diplomate, Barcelona, or the patio at Commissary are favorites) followed by the play. Saturdays, it’s a SoulCycle class followed by brunch followed by naps.

I love Studio Theatre, as it’s a block from my house, the tickets are affordable, and they have a better-than-average wine selection at the bar.

Hedda Gabler is actually a very old play—originally written by a Norweigan playwright in 1891, it tells a story of which many of us are familiar: a beautiful, privileged  housewife driven to drama and desperation due to boredom and a lack of satisfaction. Filled with seduction, self-deception and power plays, the seductive story reminds me of Anna Karenina and all those other French novels with desperate female protagonists.

Hedda Tesman returns from her honeymoon to the brutal banality of domestic life: an dull, daft husband, a boring house, and nothing to do stir up drama among the town’s society. Read: what rich white girls do when they have too much time on their hands.

The actress, Julia Coffey, who played Hedda was absolutely captivating—the audience watched her every move with bated breath, from her gliding around the room in a ballgown causing a stir among the men to her collapsing on the floor in desperation. She was spectacular.

Julia Coffey and Shane Kenyon in Hedda Gabler at Studio Theatre. Photo: Allie Dearie.
Julia Coffey and Shane Kenyon in Hedda Gabler at Studio Theatre. Photo: Allie Dearie.

The story arc keeps you guessing—your eyes are glued to the glamorous, audacious Hedda, and you wonder just what she’ll do next.

At the end of the play, I turned to my friend, Alana and said “Wow. What a spectacular show. Sounds like Hedda needed to find a job or hobby she loved.”

Avery Clark and Julia Coffey in Hedda Gabler at Studio Theatre. Photo: Allie Dearie
Avery Clark and Julia Coffey in Hedda Gabler at Studio Theatre. Photo: Allie Dearie

Hedda Gabler is playing at Studio Theatre through June 19. Young professionals can join Studio Theatre’s Friends With Benefits Young Professionals Program. Friends With Benefits membership is just $10/month, and members get buy-one-get-one tickets to all shows, free happy hours, and events throughout the year (such as the Summer Fling), and other benefits.

This Friday, Studio is throwing its seduction-themed, Hedda-inspired party, the Friends With Benefits Summer Fling. First, a cocktail hour at 6 p.m. at Studio Theatre, followed by an 8 p.m. showing of Hedda Habler, followed by an after party on the rooftop of the Penthouse Pool Club around the corner. I can’t think of a better way to spend a Friday evening than cocktails, theatre, and a rooftop after party.

Studio Theatre
14th St. N.W.
Washington, D.C.

BitchBiz: Bitches Who Brunch partners with Studio Theatre. While this article was written independently by Bitches Who Brunch, we do receive compensation from the company.

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