Thursday, May 5, 2011

Death of a Salesman

First off, my apologies for this post being WAY overdue. The show is closed now. But I still feel like I needed to blog about it.

I love theater. All kinds of theater. But I'll admit this little fact: I prefer musical theater to straight plays. But in an effort to broaden my horizons, I made a New Year's resolution to see more plays. This past weekend was a huge start, since I saw two shows, both of which were plays.

A couple of weeks ago I returned to my alma mater with a friend of mine to see a show put on by their theatre department. Death of a Salesman by Arthur Miller was a Pulitzer Prize winner and won the Tony for Best Play in 1949.

This show was very, very intense. It was long. Over 3 hours, with 2 intermissions. At this point in my very limited theatre watching career, it was the longest show I've ever seen. And the most exhausting.

The basic plot line is of Willy Loman, who has spent his life working and trying to provide for his family and raise them to the best of his ability. The show goes back in forth in time from when he and his wife bought their home, different times during the lives of his children, and present (well, 1940's) time.

Very quickly you realize that this man is slightly off his rocker. And that he's getting steadily worse. His wife has learned to deal with him, but his children are having issues. His sons are polar opposite, one trying desperately to please his father, the other doing everything in his power to do things that he knows his father will hate.

The lighting in the show was fantastic. It made obvious what time period the main character is in. And although the show was heavy and very serious, there were some comical moments, especially from next door neighbor Bernard and his son Charley. Those comedic moments kept you from becoming far too depressed.

Overall, it was worth seeing. And it was very much something that I'm not used to, which is a good thing because it is helping me to broaden my horizon. Because there's nothing I hate worse than people who won't attempt something new.

*I ushered this show, so I did not pay for a ticket. No one knew I was going to blog about it. No one asked me to blog about it. All opinions are my own.

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