Academic journal article The Arthur Miller Journal

A View from the Bridge

Academic journal article The Arthur Miller Journal

A View from the Bridge

Article excerpt

American Players Theatre

Spring Green, WI

20 August 2017

Directed by Tim Ocel

The 2017 season at American Players Theatre (APT) marks the opening of the seven-million-dollar renovation of the main stage ("Up the hill" from the parking lot). It is still a thousand-seat thrust stage, but the aisles are configured differently now to make it a more unified seating area. Underneath the stage was built a large trap. Several sets in different productions can now have different entrances from beneath this new floor. Above they have new microphones for the standard hearing assist devices. This year that includes certain types of consumer hearing aids. I could hear without the supplied device, but I have found that you have to sit within six rows of the stage to feel the presence of the actors. However, this production of A View From the Bridge was staged "Down the hill," at the indoor 201-seat venue, so it was not touched by the renovation, and benefited from the intimacy of the theatrical space.

When I first moved to Madison in 2003 I saw APT veteran Jim DeVita as Hamlet in the outdoor theater and he was very good. David Frank directed, and slivers of light, anonymous-looking costumes, and nonrepresentational sets let the dialogue attain a certain strength we rarely see in Shakespeare. Despite the interruption by rain it was an excellent production. Now DeVita plays Eddie Carbone in A View From the Bridge and there is no doubt of his stardom. It is certainly one of the strongest performances I have ever seen on the stage. While DeVita can be thunder, he also knows when to listen. He doesn't overwhelm the other actors, but reacts to them, and loses none of his intensity in this. And this is an intense performance. This production is excellent in every part, but DeVita's strong performance is the linchpin that brings it all together.

Beatrice, Eddie's wife, is played by Colleen Madden. She contributes a perfect accent in both her speech and body language to the point that one cannot imagine anyone else in the role. Melisa Pereyra (Catherine) plays the niece of Beatrice and Eddie and proposed wife of the immigrant Rodolpho. She successfully balances her own sexuality with her need to be asexual in the house of the Carbones. …

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