A family living in Brooklyn experiences these in A View From the Bridge by Arthur Miller. If you’ve ever read the play, experiencing these emotions on paper can be one thing. But when it comes to life on stage, it can be a completely heart stopping experience. And like any adaptation of a play, that text can be interpreted so many different ways. Here with American Players Theatre’s version of A VIEW FROM THE BRIDGE, an entire family’s life is undone in what feels like just a moment.
American Players Theatre’s Modern Greek Tragedy
As we sit in our seats in the Touchstone Theatre, we are curious about the chains dangling from the ceiling and the tall pillars of slats on stage. The sounds of the ocean fill the theater and we’re taken to the docks in Brooklyn. Before the lights even have a chance to dim, two workers come out on stage. They wear jackets, hats, gloves and begin moving these pillars and boxes as if they were unloading cargo from a ship.
They’re longshoremen and they begin to clear the stage as our narrator appears. Acting as the Greek chorus in this tragedy, this lawyer named Alfieri tells us of this neighborhood in Brooklyn and of a man named Eddie Carbone.
Living in Red Hook, Brooklyn means a fierce loyalty to your Italian community. Eddie provides for his wife and niece, Beatrice and Catherine, taking whatever work he can to put food on the table.
When Beatrice’s cousins, Marco and Rodolpho, arrive from Italy to work illegally in Brooklyn, Eddie is all for helping them out until he realizes Rodolpho might have an interest in Catherine. Soon tensions rise and it becomes apparent there is something darker to these relationships than we first believed.
Fierce Emotions, Even Fiercer Actors
The actors in this production make the pages of the script come to life. The acting feels natural to the point where we believe these actors were made to play these characters all their life.
We see DeVita going from a confident head of the household to a man more and more unhinged DeVita makes our hearts go out to him, but also make us pity him. His confusion and anger leading up to his final scene has us on the edge of our seats fearful of what’s to come.
In this writer's view, there were a few technical choices that seemed out of place – a muddled accent here and there, a costume too bright and modern, a sound effect out of the blue. Mostly though, we move smoothly from place to place, from the small Brooklyn apartment, to the docks, to the lawyer’s office.
As we leave the theater with raw emotions, we realize this production has left us on the edge of our seats.
American Players Theater's A VIEW FROM THE BRIDGE is emotionally charged and the entire cast and crew does a fantastic job showing us this downfall of a man confused about his own emotions. It shows how unspoken emotions kept bottled up can be explosive in the end. This show will be good for anyone looking for a traditional adaptation of Arthur Miller’s tragedy.
Now through October 22, 2017
Various performance dates, please check website
American Players Theatre
5950 Golf Course Rd.
Spring Green, WI 53588