BAM does ‘Borkman’ — with Alan Rickman!

BAM does ‘Borkman’ — with Alan Rickman!
Photo by Ros Kavanagh

The first must-see show of 2011 is the Abby Theatre’s month-long production of Ibsen’s “John Gabriel Borkman” at the BAM Harvey.

Beginning on Jan. 7, catch Alan Rickman, Fiona Shaw and Lindsay Duncan on one stage in the master’s penultimate play.

The renowned Irish company was last seen at BAM in 2001 with “Medea,” with a tour-de-force performance by Shaw.

“[That] was one of the highlights of my artistic tenure to date,” said BAM Executive Producer Joe Melillo. “To open [the season] with a new Abbey production featuring Shaw alongside artists of the caliber of Alan Rickman and Lindsay Duncan is particularly gratifying.”

Rickman’s titular character is the original Gordon Gekko — a “greed is good” type sent to prison for embezzlement. Now done serving his sentence, he is destitute, disgraced and desperate for a comeback. So is his estranged wife, Gunhild (Shaw), who plots to restore the family’s name.

Enter into this already unhappy scene Gunhild’s twin sister, Ella (Duncan), Borkman’s former lover. Her unannounced entrance triggers the devasting drama that, though written over 100 years ago, is all too timely.

“John Gabriel Borkman” at the BAM Harvey [651 Fulton St. between Rockwell and Ashland places in Fort Greene, (718) 636-4100], Jan. 7-Feb. 6. Tickets $25-$95. For info, visit www.bam.org.