NEW YORK — “A Doll’s House, Part 2,” the play with the most Tony Award nominations this season, will now get a chance at a Broadway run commensurate with the size of its recognition.
Producers of the drama by Lucas Hnath announced Monday that the production at the Golden Theatre, originally scheduled to end its 16-week limited engagement in July, will extend its run to Jan. 7.
The announcement follows an astonishing box office turnaround for the 85-minute play, a newly imagined sequel to Henrik Ibsen’s 1879 classic, “A Doll’s House,” in which a bourgeois housewife, stifled by her domineering husband, abruptly leaves him and their children. Hnath picks up the story 15 years later when Nora Helmer (Laurie Metcalf) returns to the family home and faces down Torvald, the man she left (Chris Cooper); Emmy (Condola Rashad), the daughter she abandoned; and Anne Marie (Jayne Houdyshell), the housekeeper who stayed to raise Emmy and her brothers.
In its preview performance weeks, the receipts at the Golden were anemic for “A Doll’s House, Part 2,” no doubt partly because the play had no track record. It was essentially a world premiere on Broadway. (It was commissioned by South Coast Repertory, whose April production ran essentially concurrently with the Broadway version.)
But on the strength of highly favorable reviews and the basket of Tony nominations — including one for each of the four actors, as well as for director Sam Gold — ticket sales have accelerated. Last week, “A Doll’s House, Part 2” brought in more than $452,000 — a more than fourfold increase over its first full week of preview performances in April.
“If you have the goods, you can do it,” producer Scott Rudin said of the momentum that’s been built for the play, on top of an aggressive advertising campaign in newspapers and the New York television market. “People love the play and have a fantastic time with it.”
The current cast is only contracted to perform through July 25, but Rudin said he is hoping that they will extend their contracts for at least a few weeks beyond that. In any event, the producer said he will recast the roles if he has to, to accommodate the extension.