An attractive, sleek and contemporary Ibsen update is of interest, its progressive casting and political immediacy ironically almost too PC
Don't see it if
You prefer your Ibsen straight, with more traditional casting, making less sporadic philosophical points.
A capable cast, a clean if clumsy Scandinavian-styled set and a quickly paced, trimmed down script — apparently pointed at and timed to the current presidential election and political events — this Public Enemy never quite adds up, and so falls short of the visceral emotional punch it seeks and by rights should deliver.
A climactic monologue, house lights up & delivered into an audience confused as to whether to respond to the direct questions asked of it, is so extended, wide-ranging & ultimately contradictory that its meaning & effect are blunted. Similarly, the doctor's descent into the madness of the principled individual fighting & holding out regardless of cost to those around him, seemed rather quick & just a bit pat.
Played essentially on two notes, Jimon Cole is appropriately self righteous as the local doctor; Guiesseppe Jones is smooth and reasonable as the mayor, but his shouting matches with the doctor don't quite ring true; and as the patient wife, Nilaja Sun unfortunately has little to do but wring her hands or smile.
Still, a timely show which may yet sharpen its focus; it could and should.