Onstage: Death of a Salesman

You might think of Arthur Miller’s 1949 play Death of a Salesman as some dusty old classic, but it speaks to today’s world when people’s dreams are being dashed by economic forces beyond their control. This one should be on your list, just to remind you

You might think of Arthur Miller’s 1949 play Death of a Salesman as some dusty old classic, but it speaks to today’s world when people’s dreams are being dashed by economic forces beyond their control. More than a half-century ago it won a Pulitzer Prize and a Tony Award. When it was revived on Broadway in 1999, it won another Tony Award. You have the chance now to see a production of this American tragedy by New Edgecliff Theatre.

It’s the story of Willy Loman who has worked hard for a lifetime to achieve the American dream, but sees it slipping not only beyond his grasp but leaving his whole family behind. This production is directed by Ed Cohen, who just had great success with Conor McPherson’s Shining City for New Stage Collective; the role of Willy is played by Michael Shooner, NET’s founder who dazzled audiences last season as Ricky Roma in David Mamet’s Glengarry Glen Ross; another CEA nominee, Kate Wilford, is Willy’s faithful, frustrated wife Linda.

At the Columbia Performance Center, Cohen has created a dream-like, expressionistic overlap of scenes on an all but bare stage set designed by Melissa Bennett and lit by Glen Goodwin. Cohen has also chosen to use a significantly shortened version of the play, as trimmed by playwright Miller for a 1966 television production. Missing scenes are little missed and tragic inevitability is tightened by the brevity.This one should be on your list, just to remind you what powerful playwriting is all about. $12-$20. 

Read a review here

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