An e-zine for happenings of local culture in Milwaukee and elsewhere

The End, Arthur Miller: Death of a Salesman

Timely describes Milwaukee Repertory Theater’s season night-cap. A sarcastic toast to resurgent free market enthusiasm, and all the “self-making” delusions that tag along with attitudes encouraging reduction of society to no-holds-barred capitalism, Arthur Miller’s classic challenges this exuberance prophetically. Death of a Salesman reminds us all of the virtue found in honest reflection, as only theater, in comparison to contemporary mass media, seems to have the guts to do these days.

Miller opens the Loman household to scrutiny, as Willie (Lee Ernst) and long-suffering wife Linda (Laura Gordon) cope with the personal tolls exacted by professional life in the post-war business sector. When two thirty-something-aged sons appear, they rehash memories of the Loman’s child rearing years. The perceived expectations of 1950’s early onset consumer culture tack veneers on the members of the Loman family and friends. To these veneers, the characters’ past and present life experiences apply varnish or turpentine.

Progress through the scenes of Mark Clements’ production reach a point of bullying comfort; credit Ernst for his ability to take the audience past entertainment value to at least the point emotional response. The cast proved adept as usual, despite Reese Madigan, better suited for the role Hannay in 39 Steps, fidgeting a bit while finding his way into the character of Biff. Madigan’s portrayal still worked well, in caricature of the period in which Miller authored Death of a Salesman. Accurate, visionary set design, and exceptionally well-timed and in-place actors projected a polished show.

On stage until May 8, Death of a Salesman is the last production of the season at The Rep.

Advertisements

One response

  1. The BrassRooster provided all the Mens hats for this production. Stop down and see our store on May 7th for our grand opening. Local trolley is tops in our book.

    John & Kate McLaughlin
    Owners,
    The Brass Rooster
    2479 S. KK Ave.
    414 759 8358

    April 17, 2011 at 9:27 pm

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s