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Death of a salesman


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Brandt Dye's Production review of the 1999 Broadway hit, Death of a Salesman. Directed by Robert Falls. Starring Brian Dennehy. Prepared for English 114 class. Winter quarter 2011.

Published in: Entertainment & Humor
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Death of a salesman

  1. 1. Death of a Salesman<br />By Arthur Miller<br />
  2. 2. Directed By Robert Falls<br />At Eugene O’Neill Theatre, NY<br />February 10th, 1999<br />
  3. 3. A Curtain Up Reviewby Allan Wallach<br /><ul><li>“…introduces us to a production that strips away notions that we're meant to view Willy's downfall as a condemnation of society. At its wounded heart this is a play about a family adrift.”
  4. 4. “The famous lines that figured so prominently in those long-ago debates (notably Linda Loman's "Attention, attention must be finally paid to such a person" and Willy's own "You can't eat the orange and throw the peel away - a man is not a piece of fruit!" are still present. Yet, for the most part, Fall's brilliant rethinking of the play - his production has arrived on Broadway 50 years to the day from the original opening on Feb. 10, 1949 -- makes them less portentous now; they're consumed by the ferocity of the emotions that surround them. This may be the angriest Salesman I've ever seen. ”</li></li></ul><li>Curtain Up Review con’t…<br /><ul><li>“At its core is the mercurial acting of Brian Dennehy, recreating his role in last year's production at the Goodman Theater in Chicago. His Willy has a salesman's quick, eager smile and expansiveness, yet he is never far from the rage and bewilderment that keep him shambling between the dismal present and the hallucinatory past. Even Dennehy's sheer size works for him; when he sags, his massive body seems to implode.”</li></li></ul><li>Brian Dennehy as Willy Loman<br />
  5. 5. Curtain Up Review cont’d…<br /><ul><li>“The other outstanding performance is that of Elizabeth Franz, who was also in the Goodman Theater production. She catches every glint of Linda Loman's love for her husband and fierce anger at her sons, Biff and Happy, over their casually thoughtless treatment of Willy. “
  6. 6. “There is fine work as well by several others in the cast, especially Kevin Anderson as the embittered and hopelessly lost Biff. The final showdown between Biff and Willy, in which rage is somehow transmuted into groping love, is beautifully handled by both actors.” </li></li></ul><li>Curtain Up con’t…<br /><ul><li>“One of the production's significant departures is the shifting modular scenic design by Mark Wendland. Although quite different from Jo Mielziner's skeletal multilevel set in the original production, the scenery is equally efficient in the abrupt transitions between the present and a past that's filtered through Willy's tormented mind. Through all these changes, Fall's masterly direction keeps the play focused on Willy and the other members of the Loman family as they move uncomprehendingly toward destruction. ”</li></li></ul><li>Elizabeth Franz as Linda Loman, Kevin Anderson as Biff<br />
  7. 7. Talkin’ Broadway review By Fergus McGillicuddy<br /><ul><li>“Robert Falls, the director, has handled Salesman in the only way it can be effectively presented these days, as a dark portrait of a father and son's love, ever at odds with the inherent trauma, resentment, and unrealistic expectations of such a relationship. I would be more impressed with his work here if it were not for the physical production he offers, which is problematic.”</li></li></ul><li>Talkin Broadway con’t…<br /><ul><li>“With this Willy Loman, Brian Dennehy - a damn good actor to begin with - enters the pantheon of theatrical gods. His is a performance destined for legend. This Willy Loman is a big man who can be gentle and quiet one moment, only to explode in Shakespearian anger and rage the next. This Willy Loman is an intelligent man who foolishly believes the myths he has created himself. This Willy Loman is at once brave and cowardly, aggressive and timid, loving and vengeful. This Willy Loman is a man complete unto himself. Dennehy reaches out from the stage to grab us by the throat, daring us to look away from what we see. It's not a pretty picture, for what we see is ourselves and our fathers. And we laugh and cry.”</li></li></ul><li>Works Cited:<br /><ul><li>A Curtain Up Review. Death of a Salesman by Allan Wallach
  8. 8. Talkin ‘Broadway’s Broadway Reviews Theatre Review by Fergus McGillicuddy</li>