Death of a Salesman
By Tom Nissley
One of the finest productions of Arthur Miller’s “Death of a Salesman” that I have ever seen is playing right now in Curtain Call’s Dressing Room Theatre in Stamford. It was directed by Brian Borowka, who in his other life is a teacher at Greenwich Academy. I should say it was beautifully directed by Mr. Borowka, because it fits together like an intricate puzzle and then clicks shut with perfect timing.
“Salesman” tells the story of Willie Loman, a 25 year veteran of the sales route from New York way into New England, who has recently been getting tired and having daydreams, or maybe hallucinations, while he’s driving. He’s not selling anything anymore either. He’s tired and discouraged, and to stay what he thinks is sane he pumps up his own fake image of himself and his sons and his career and his marriage and replays it. It’s a mammoth task for an actor, magnificently handled here by Will Jeffries.
Nancy Sinacori, who plays Linda, Willy’s wife, also gives a superb and very sensitive performance. She’s alert to every facet of Willy, and committed to his hollow dream. She also tries to mother her two grown sons, Biff (an ever-so-solid Matt Dyer), and Hap (Marc Ursone). They have left, of course, the little house where they grew up, but are back and together during Miller’s tale, so that we can see how easy it is for Willy to be disappointed with them, and logically, vice versa.
The next-door neighbor, Charlie (Scott Faubel), and his son Bernard (Rob Nichols), provide a benchmark for us to watch what hard work can deliver, and there are other wonderful actors in all the short scenes and flashbacks as well. The set by Peter Barbieri is creative and accommodating, the costumes (Megan Latte Ormond) are great, and the impact on the audience never stops.
“Salesman” is about change and resistance to it, about family and how hard it is to hold on to dreams, when it feels as if the world has passed you by. It was an instant hit when first produced and it has the same powerful impact today. I wish for this exquisite production that it could travel through other cities and play and play again. For the moment, it’s nearly sold out, and plays through March 18. To try for tickets go to www.curtaincallinc.com .
Tom Nissley for the Ridgelea Reports on Theatre