Past Reviews

Regional Reviews: San Francisco/North Bay


A View from the Bridge
Shelton Theater
Review by Richard Connema | Season Schedule

Also see Richard's reviews of Breeders and The House of Yes


Jannely Calmell and Walter Zarnowitz
Photo by Matt Shelton
Shelton Theater is presenting an excellent production of Arthur Miller's A View from the Bridge. The Arthur Miller drama and I go way back. I remember seeing it during the fall in 1955 when it played Eugene O'Neill Theatre, then called the Coronet Theatre. It was the one-act version and it starred Van Heflin as Eddie and Eileen Heckart as Beatrice. I saw the two-act version at the Ambassador Theatre in 1983 with Tony Lo Bianco playing Eddie. I also saw the successful Off-Broadway production at the Sheridan Square Playhouse in New York in 1965 with Robert Duvall as Eddie and Jon Voight as Rodolpho.

A View from the Bridge is not Arthur Miller's best work. The play is presented as a sort of Americanized Greek tragedy with the character of Alfieri (Avi Jacobson), a local lawyer, narrating the story and commenting on Eddie's character defects in the way a Greek chorus might.

The play takes place in 1955 in the Red Hook section of Brooklyn where Eddie Carbone (Louis Landman), a mostly well regarded longshoreman, finds his ethical and communal downfall when he agrees to host, with wife Beatrice (Floriana Alessandria), cousins Marco (Max Forman-Mullin) and Rodolpho (Walter Zarnowitz) at his house when they migrate to America without proper documents. Eddie starts off welcoming the two into his house but becomes insanely jealous when Rodolpho, the younger and more sensitive of the two, begins to court Catherine, Beatrice's orphaned niece whom Eddie has housed for many years and developed an obsessive and incestuous lust for.

Director Will Marchetti has assembled six competent actors to play the characters. Louis Landman is outstanding as Eddie, giving a powerful performance. Floriana Alessandria and Jannely Calmell as Beatrice and Catherine give splendid performances. Max Forman-Mullin and Walter Zarnowitz who play Marco and Rodolpho give vivid performances with Walter playing slightly on the effeminate side. Avi Jacobson with his terrific theatrical voice gives an impressive performance as the lawyer and Greek chorus. Director Will Marchetti brings out the best of the cast. Steve Coleman has designed a minimal set that looks like a middle-class longshoremen's home in Brooklyn.

A View from the Bridge runs through May 20, 2017. The Shelton Theater has four theatres and is located on 533 Sutter Street just off Union Square in San Francisco. For tickets and information, visit sheltontheater.org.


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