Death of a Salesman
Written by Arthur Miller
Directed by Mike Nichols
Willy Loman….Philip Seymour Hoffman
Linda Loman….Linda Emond
Biff Loman ……Andrew Garfield
Reviewed by Jennifer Rota and Paul Austin
We like plays more than musicals so there was little hesitation when we heard that Philip Seymour Hoffman would be starring in the classic Death of a Salesman on Broadway. Not only would Arthur Miller’s tale be brought back to life by an Academy Award-winning actor but at the helm it would have Mike Nichols directing the ensemble in the iconic Barrymore Theater.
This is no sweet or lighthearted story; indeed, Death deals with a family’s troubles both past and present and their feckless pursuit of the American dream, culminating with the growing dementia of the patriarch – Willy Loman. First premiered in 1949 at the Morosco Theater (since torn down and replaced by the Marquis), the play has been a staple of American storytelling and requisite reading for many a high school youth. The plot itself is a simple and oft repeated one and it would have been quite easy for the set and script to be updated to a modern time. Instead, Mr. Nichols chose to replicate the play to the exact word and nail, giving us a glimpse into the Loman’s home as it was 70 years ago.
We were privileged to be in the audience for the first performance, and we were not disappointed. The cast swept us in from the first scene with acting so intimate I felt like a voyeur at times, willing myself to not look away at this family’s self destruction and pain. After, I could not help but marvel at the ability of these players to portray tormented characters night after night, giving everything of themselves to the audience to do so.
Tip: We buy our tickets from www.telecharge.com If you have an American Express Card, you can choose American Express seating…it is discounted and better than general or even Premier Seating. For this performance we snagged front row center tickets.
For the budget-conscious:
1) www.broadwaybox.com is a fantastic website for discount tickets!!
2) Here’s a wonderful RUSH TICKETS policy: “$30.00 – Available at the Box Office only on the day of the performance for students 30 years and younger – Photo ID is required – Limit 2 per valid ID – Subject to availability.”