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Ibsen’s Rosmersholm strikes contemporary theme


Fri, Feb 13th, 2004
Posted in Features

As far as I know, I have not one drop of Norwegian blood. But living in Minnesota, I am Norwegian by association.

So I was as pleased as the next guy when Eric Lorentz Bunge spoke a few phrases in the mother tongue as he introduced Rosmersholm, the opening play of the Commonweal Theater’s 2004 season. The play will run through May 16.

In homage to local Norwegian heritage, and as the featured jewel of Ibsen Fest, the Commonweal once a year conjures the ghost of this brooding Norwegian playwright who, at his best, has been compared to Shakespeare.

The act of experiencing an Ibsen play requires a certain amount of fortitude on the part of the audience. Laughs will be as hard to find as the center line during a blizzard. But we Norwegians are big on fortitude. What’s more, a play like Rosmersholm contains plenty of moral hand wringing, dramatic ruminations, and in the end a desperate, somewhat passive-aggressive, act. We tend to eat that stuff up with a spoon.

There’s no denying that Ibsen can be bleak, but the bleakness is usually countered with a spirit of rebellion against the status quo. To honor Ibsen in my own way, I promise to make at least two heretical statements against the Ibsen establishment before this review is finished.

Rosmerholm is the story of Pastor John Rosmer who has lost his religious faith and become, almost reluctantly, a “free-thinker” in Norway during the 19th century. His change of heart puts him at odds with his conservative brother-in-law, Kroll, who would like Rosmer to join a group of traditionalists with the purpose of eliminating the cancer of “free thinking.” Meanwhile, the leader of the free-thinkers, Mortensgaard, is interested in having Rosmer endorse the other side. But, ironically, the liberals don’t want him if he’s given up his Christian faith, because it would add credibility to their movement to have a Christian pastor on their side.

On the home front, Rosmer’s troubled wife has recently committed suicide, and he’s now living (chastely) with his best friend and soul mate, Rebecca West, who used to be his wife’s best friend. Oi. More appropriately, uff-da.

Rosmer could be a brother to last season’s Solness in The Master Builder, who also found himself out of step with his colleagues, had a depressed wife, and a younger woman hanging about and tempting him with “fr .....
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Commissioners’ Report: Fillmore County to develop methamphetamine ordinance

Fri, Feb 13th, 2004
Posted in Features

“Toxic waste problems have long lasting effects,” emphasized Sharon Serfling, Director of Public Health and Sheriff Jim Connolly as they opened up discussion regarding the county’s need to develop a methamphetamine ordinance.

T ..... 
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County’s purchase policy reviewed

Fri, Feb 13th, 2004
Posted in Features

During the reviewing of weekly warrants a few weeks ago, a $3,200 bill for an air conditioning unit purchased by the Sheriff’s Department was flagged. The commissioners challenged the bill noting, in their opinion that all departments must receive ap ..... 
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Ski jumping was once a familiar winter sporting event in the area

Fri, Feb 6th, 2004
Posted in Features

Sometime in the 1800’s (or even before that) one Norwegian told another Norwegian that he could ski down a mountain, jump off a jump, and fly farther than the other Norwegian.

So, mythologically speaking, was born the sport of ..... 
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County continues to move ahead on E911 project

Fri, Feb 6th, 2004
Posted in Features

With all the controversy and sometimes-misinterpreted information about the county’s ongoing work on an E911 system, the County Board on Tuesday decided it was time to try and quell some of the concerns on this issue.

Yes, the ..... 
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Fillmore County District Court

Fri, Feb 6th, 2004
Posted in Features

Felony Charges

David Keith Strike, 47, of LeRoy, appeared in Fillmore County District Court on Tuesday on two felony charges of theft by check. According to the criminal complaint, on January 3, 2003, Strike issued a check in th ..... 
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Preston City Council Report: Midwest Wireless seeks city approval for tower

Fri, Feb 6th, 2004
Posted in Features

Brevity and civility reigned at the Preston City Council meeting on Monday night.

The meeting lasted a half hour. There were no issues that divided the four members in attendance, Mayor David Pechulis and Council members Steve ..... 
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Lanesboro City Council Report: Spray park shelved

Fri, Feb 6th, 2004
Posted in Features

Marge Drake informed the Lanesboro City Council at their February 2nd meeting that the Spray Park planned for spring construction had officially been shelved. The bid from Bremmer and Associates came in at $236,000. This bid did not include the equip ..... 
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Pautler accepts position at Charles Lindbergh Center

Fri, Feb 6th, 2004
Posted in Features

Several years ago when Charles Pautler was an undergraduate college student working as an intern cataloguing Charles Lindbergh’s clothing, he didn’t give much thought that one day his career would focus on the great man.

All tha ..... 
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