Highly Recommended ***** Tonight, Teatro Vista, The Latino Equity company in Chicago, opened up a new version of “A View From The Bridge” by Arthur Miller. The question arose, “why would a Hispanic theater company select a play that is about Italians in Brooklyn during the early 1950’s?” Why would they not select something Spanish?. The answer is very clear! We live in a time of pure diversity and a time when actors can be anyone they want. In this particular Miller play, a part of the plot surrounds two brothers, Italians who, needing work, come to the United States to work along the docks- one to raise money to send home to his wife and kids, the younger, to begin a life where he can be all the things he wants to be. If you read the papers, you know that there are many Hispanics who are in this country for the same purpose, survival and thus, the perfect reason for a theater company, a Latino company to select this wonderful play to start their Spring Season.
Teatro Vista’s new home is the Richard Christiansen Theater ( upstairs) located at the Victory Gardens Biograph at 2433 N. Lincoln Avenue. This is an intimate space, where every audience member has great sight lines and the set (Regina Garcia) Makes us feel that we are peering through the window of a family composed of Eddie ( deftly handled by Ramon Camin) the breadwinner. his lovely wife Beatrice ( the always sensational Sandra Marquez) and their neice Catherine ( Ayssette Munoz), who they have raised since Beatrice’s sister passed away. As we watch the story unfold we find that Eddie’s thoughts about “his” Catherine are not exactly proper, and when the two brothers ( relatives of Beatrice’s) arrive to find work, and the younger of the two, Rodolpho ( a brilliant interpretation by Tommy Rivera-Vega)s himself attracted to Catherine, all Hell breaks loose.
Intensity in this Miller play is held keen by director Ricardo Gutierrez as he moves his chess pieces through their motions. While a great deal of the story deals with the relationships between the characters, there are also hints at things that are still looked at today as “different”. Rodolpho has blonde hair ( unusual for n Italian) and cooks, sings, dances and can make dresses. His brother, Marco ( a fine turn by Eddie Diaz) is seeking a new life so that he can one day bring his wife and kids to the land of plenty, but his love for his brother is strong and when circumstances present themselves, takes his brothers side. The story is told by Alfieri ( Mark Ulrich) who is both our Narrator and a character in the play- the lawyer that is involved with Eddie’s plight and that of the others in later scenes.
This is a strong story about love, loyalty, jealousy, hate and survival with an ending that you will not see coming and a solid performance by each and every member of the ensemble. It is the ensemble that can make the production whole and each person, no matter the size of their role, who make sup these parts of the whole is responsible for the total production being a true theatrical experience.This is not one of Miller’s greatest plays/scripts, but Teatro Vista has made it a wonderful evening of theater. Thanks to the ensemble members:Todd Garcia, Patrick Falco,Joel Maisonet, Diane Herrera Pina and Antonia Arcely.
The costumes ( Christine Pascual), Sound ( Christopher Kriz), lighting (Brian Hoehne) are key ingredients as well as the fight choreography ( Christopher Acevedo) and dance choreography ( Tommy Rivera-Vega). This is one to see but you only have until May 18th to do so with performances as follows:
Thursdays Saturdays at 7:30 p.m.
Sundays at 3 p.m.
Running time with a 15 minute intermission TWO HOURS ( but it feels much less)
Tuesday,April 29th at 10 a.m.
Wednesday, May 7th 10 a.m.
Saturday ,May 17th an added 3 p.m.
Tickets range from $25-$30 and can be ordered by calling 773-871-3000 or by visiting www.victorygardens,org or at the box office. Seniors and students ( with valid ID) will get discounted tickets.
To learn more about this company, visit www.teatrovista.org
To see what others are saying, visit www theatreinchicago.com, go to Review Round-UP and click at “A View From The Bridge”