How have I never seen this play before? Arthur Miller’s A View From the Bridge is the kind of play – angst-ridden, explosive and tragic – that is just the type I love to see in the theater. This current production, originated at London’s Young Vic and staged by the Belgian director Ivo Van Hove, is great theater in every sense of the word.
Narrated by a neighborhood attorney, the play tells the story of Eddie Carbone– an American Italian longshoreman working on the Brooklyn docks. Eddie’s wife Bea has become a nag and his affections are now directed towards his adoring 17-year old niece Catherine. As the play unfolds this relationship becomes increasingly creepy and uncomfortable. But Eddie has a big heart. He opens it, and his home, to two illegal immigrants from Sicily who have come to America to escape poverty. What he did not expect is that one of them falls for Catherine and this doesn’t make Eddie happy. Will Eddie remain loyal to the old country and familial ties or will he turn his back on them? Can Eddie stand losing Catherine? What Eddie does lose is his himself and it does not end well.
The stellar performances, spare set (which reminded me of a boxing ring), lack of props and costumes allow the words of Miller’s beautifully written play to take center stage. I was kept me rapt for two hours. The final scene, which I will not give away, is one I will never forget. LAR
Lyceum Theatre, 149 West 45th Street
Ticket prices: $39 – $135
Discounts available: Available through Theatermania (http://www.theatermania.com/broadway/discount-tickets/a-view-from-the-bridge_309384)
Runs thru: February 21, 2016