ETC Presents Arthur Miller’s ‘Death of a Salesman’

Theater Company Crafts a Vivid of American Tragedy

<em>Death of a Salesman</em>

David Bazemore

Death of a Salesman

This powerful production of Arthur Miller’s enduring American tragedy could hardly come at a better time. The question at the heart of the story — “What is the emotional catastrophe that haunts so many American men?” — has never been more urgent. The fluid new score by Barry G. Funderburg complements Joseph Hanreddy’s propulsive direction perfectly, and the fine cast comes together in a cascading fugue of contrapuntal voices to create the mystical “single chord” of Miller’s imagination.

At the center of Death of a Salesman lies the unresolved conflict between a broken man and his damaged eldest son. Henry Woronicz plays Willy Loman with a noble directness that reveals the character’s deep compulsions. As Biff, the former football star turned ranch hand and sometime jailbird, Trevor Peterson drives the plot forward with the force of his reluctant yet inexorable need to face the truth about his family and his life. Gigi Bermingham is splendid as Linda Loman, deftly slipping from the past of Willy’s memory into the desperate present of her own fears and back again as the winding path of Miller’s script leads her. Alex Nee picks up on the subtleties in his portrayal of Hap, the shallow younger brother who sees no need to deviate from the salesman’s formula for life that has proved to be so deadly to his dad. Sergi Robles is fine as Bernard, the observant and decent son of Willy’s kindly, gruff neighbor Charley (John P. Connolly). Michael Bernard, Sarah Saviano, Paul Michael Sandberg, and Jenn Chandler all do outstanding work in distinguishing the vivid secondary characters without which Miller’s awesome vision would be incomplete.