Tuesday November 21st 2017

“A View From The Bridge” review by Carol Moore

Recommended **** The Goodman Theatre pulled off something of a theatrical coup when they snagged the rights to Ivo van Hove’s stripped-down production of “A View from the Bridge”.  Without the burden of scenery, the viewer can concentrate on powerful performances by Ian Bedford and the rest of the cast.  Powerful performance aside, Eddie is still just a thug seething with jealousy and rage.  I respect the work, but I don’t like the play.  3 ½ Spotlights

Obviously, “A View from the Bridge” is not one of my favorite plays.  Arthur Miller doesn’t use the lyrical language one might find in say, a Tennessee Williams play.  Eddie (Ian Bedford) is a brutal longshoreman who rules his home with an iron fist.  It doesn’t take a critic to sense his jealousy and rage.  Domestic violence, incest, bigotry, brutality, and murder cannot be far behind.

Eddie, his wife, Beatrice (Andrus Nichols), and their niece (her sister’s child), Catherine (Catherine Combs), live in Red Hook, a low income neighborhood in Brooklyn, adjacent to New York’s docks.  Most Red Hook families were Italian, with close family ties to Italy.  Many helped family members enter the U.S. illegally.  As a community, they actively shunned those who would turn anyone in to Immigration.

“A View from the Bridge” is narrated by a lawyer named Alfieri (Ezra Knight) – who serves as kind of a Greek chorus.  Since everyone in the neighborhood consults him when they have legal problems, he’s usually aware of potential problems.  Eddie is one of those potential problems.

One day, Beatrice’s cousins, Marco (Brandon Espinoza) and Rodolpho (Daniel Abeles) arrive from Italy.  Marco has a wife and three kids, one with tuberculosis, in Italy, so he needs to send money home.  Good-looking Rodolpho, an aspiring singer, is young, single, and fair-haired, which makes him attractive to Catherine.  Those same attributes make him suspicious to Eddie.

Eddie, whose feelings for Catherine have gone way beyond paternal, does everything he can to keep them apart.  When she won’t listen to him, his anger builds and builds.   Finally, one terrible night, he kisses her, then kisses Rodolpho, just to prove that he “likes’ boys.  When the young couple announces that they’re getting married, Eddie goes ballistic, and does the unforgiveable, calling Immigration, setting the tragedy in motion.

“A View from the Bridge” runs through October 15th at the Goodman Theatre, 170 N. Dearborn, Chicago.  Most reasonable parking options for the Goodman:

  • Valet parking garage on Randolph between Michigan and Wabash (across from the Cultural Center) at $15
  • Government Center garage on Lake between LaSalle and Dearborn, online advance payment at www.interparkonline.com/goodmantheatre, $16.50.

Running time is 2 hours, no intermission.  Performances are:

  • Wednesdays at 7:30 pm
  • Thursdays at 2:00 and 7:30 pm
  • Fridays at 8:00 pm
  • Saturdays at 2:00 and 8:00 pm
  • Sundays at 2:00 and 7:30 pm
  • There is a special performance at 7:30 pm on Tuesday, October 3rd
  • No evening performance on Sunday, October 15th.

Tickets range from $25-$95.  FYI (312) 443-4800 or www.goodmantheatre.org.

To see what others are saying, visit www.theatreinchicago.com, go to Review Round-Up and click “A View From The Bridge”


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