Encore

A Selfish Sacrifice.A Selfish Sacrifice was written after Denver Center Theatre Company director Israel Hicks commissioned Charles F. (OyamO) Gordon, a professor at the University of Michigan, to write a play based on Henrik Ibsen's A Doll's House. Hicks wanted the play set in a contemporary milieu, with Torvald transformed into the Nigerian ambassador to the United Nations. As they settle into their elegant New York apartment with their three children, the ambassador, Aki, and his wife, Aku, luxuriate in their newfound status and financial security. But Aku has a secret. Many years earlier, when her husband was suffering from a life-threatening illness that required treatment in England, she borrowed money from a shady lawyer. If this secret is discovered, both she and Aki will be disgraced. OyamO has chosen to rewrite rather than reimagining A Doll's House, and Sacrifice comes complete with melodramatic plot twists and credulity-stretching coincidences. The characters are also unconvincing. Although the first part of the play is interesting and appealing, it ultimately fails to satisfy. Presented by the Denver Center Theatre Company through February 26, the Space Theatre, Denver Performing Arts Complex, 14th and Curtis streets, 303-893-4100, www.denvercenter.org. Reviewed February 3.

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