Past Reviews

Regional Reviews: Washington, D.C.

The Price
Arena Stage
Review by Susan Berlin | Season Schedule

Also see Susan's reviews of Our Town and An Act of God

Maboud Ebrahimzadeh and Hal Linden
Photo by Colin Hovde
Arthur Miller's 1968 play The Price is a searching examination of responsibility to self and others and the lies we tell to get through the day—but the main reason to see the current production in the Kogod Cradle at Arena Stage in Washington is the chance to get up close and personal with legendary actor Hal Linden.

Linden, the Tony and Emmy-winning actor, is 86 now and still a master in control of the stage. He dominates the proceedings whenever he appears, as Gregory Solomon, an elderly Russian-Jewish furniture appraiser who lightens the family drama with homely bits of philosophy and his eccentricities.

Director Seema Sueko has staged this chamber drama in the smallest of the three Arena theaters, where the pieces of Wilson Chin's set loom upward, topped by a grimy skylight. While the other three actors give solid, engaging performances as their characters struggle and try to exorcise their pasts, Linden provides the leavening, the spirit, the grounding and the humor.

The playwright drew on his own family's experiences in this story of two estranged brothers, both trying to come to terms with the losses and deceptions of their lives. Victor Franz (Maboud Ebrahimzadeh) and his older brother Walter (Rafael Untalan) were teenagers when their father lost everything in the 1929 stock market crash. Victor, the dutiful son, quit college, joined the police force, and looked after his sad, defeated father. Walter chose to go on with his life and became a prominent surgeon. They have not spoken since their father's death 16 years earlier.

Now, in 1968, the old brownstone where the family once lived is being torn down and it's finally time for the brothers to take care of unfinished business, literal—heavy furniture piled to the ceiling—as well as metaphorical. They're trying to move forward, but the most difficult step for both brothers is how to establish communication. Miller's play is primarily a conversation between two people who came from the same background but never perceived it the same way.

The fourth character is Victor's wife Esther (Pearl Sun), who has seen her own dreams evaporate over the years and thinks it's time for her and Victor to move forward. She's very forthright, but has little control over the situation.

Arena Stage
The Price
October 6th - November 12th, 2017
By Arthur Miller
Victor Franz: Maboud Ebrahimzadeh (October 6-November 5), Ricardo Frederick Evans (November 7-12)
Esther Franz: Pearl Sun
Gregory Solomon: Hal Linden
Walter Franz: Rafael Untalan
Directed by Seema Sueko
Kogod Cradle, Arena Stage at the Mead Center for American Theater, 1101 Sixth St. SW
Washington, DC
Ticket Information: 202-488-3300 or