I can’t think of another time I have heard so many different opinions of a production of A View From The Bridge by Arthur Miller. Some people LOVED it and others HATED it. I heard so many different polar that I wanted to see for myself how I would react to the piece.
The show is stripped down and minimalist, which is great and really shows off the brilliant writing of Arthur Miller. At moments of tension there is a drum that reminds me of kabuki theater. Some scenes are underscored with Greek chorus-type singing which really drives home the fact that this is a modern Greek Tragedy. With that said, I feel like there were more things I disliked than liked about this production.
I felt that Eddie was miscast. He is too good looking. The Italians don’t have accents which is fine, but only if no one has an accent. Eddie and some of the other characters had New York accents, which doesn’t work for me – if the Italians don’t have accents, then no one should have an accent. I thought some stuff was too heavy-handed. For example, at one point Catherine is drying the floor with a towel, but her skirt is short she is blatantly and repeatedly revealing her underwear (or as my friend Brooke said, “her vagina is hanging out!”). A little distracting to say the least.
There were a lot of things to like about this production, and I would love to see an Ivo Van Hoe production of All My Sons. But there were a lot of moments where it felt like a stereotypical high school production.
Jerusha: It was a rare treat to get to see this show with our friends Brooke and Alex – a little double date! It’s always nice to debrief the show after viewing, and hear everyone’s opinions, insights and perspectives. My interpretation of this production is that it was meant to view like you were reading the script. Hence the decision to give the Italians no accents and the minimalist design aspects. Having never read or seen the show before, I also thought the narrator’s stage direction-type lines also played into this.