At this time, 40 years ago, we were mid run of Arthur Miller’s acclaimed Death Of A Salesman.
The corrupt core of the American dream was laid bare … in an enthralling production of Arthur Miller’s classic “Death of a Salesman.” (Evening Sentinel review)
Death is a word too precise and ﬁnal to describe the wasting process at work in this play.
Willy Loman is a salesman imbued with the “can do“ mentality in a mythical world of boundless frontiers, where the only limitations are those of individual capability. But ground between the inexorable millstones of an unfeeling society, with memories of lost opportunity and his own worm of guilt polluting his personal dream, Willy — passionately played by Richard Masters – starts to come apart.
Would it were a clean end, but Willy, without real hope or idealism left, grasps for straws of his own creation. These he thrusts upon his devoted but bewildered wife, movingly portrayed by Joan Bennett, and his two sons. One is a rat-race competitor with the sensitivity of an android, Kelvin Hall, and the other is the disillusioned Biff, his conﬂicts and loyalties convincingly brought out by Brian Hadley – who also designed the glowering and claustrophobic set. Like a crazed rollercoaster the play tracks the self-induced highs and the sickening plunges to despair of Willy Loman.
Working in a small studio that he built in Roxbury, Connecticut, Miller wrote the first act of Death of a Salesman in less than a day. The play opened on February 10, 1949, at the Morosco Theatre, and was adored by nearly everyone, becoming an iconic stage work.
Salesman won Miller the highest accolades in the theater world: the Pulitzer Prize, the New York Drama Critics’ Circle Award and the Tony for Best Play. (The work, in fact, swept all of the six Tony categories in which it was nominated, including for Best Direction and Best Author.)