Through March 26|
A VIEW FROM THE BRIDGE Kavinoky Theatre
By Augustine Warner
Arthur Miller’s “A View from The Bridge” is a classic play, locked in aspic and that Fifties view of illegals trying to make it from the poverty of post-war Italy to America and opportunity.
Except, the Kavinoky Theatre’s production which broadens out the story and makes it a beautifully done, more universal tale of immigrants trying to get here, a story with a different resonance in these times.
That probably reflects the eyes on the script of two-immigrants, the Kav’s impresario, David Lamb, and the director, Robert Waterhouse, both natives of Britain.
The script has been shortened a little and some of the references to Italy have been removed, again making it more universal.
Miller’s illegals come by ship while most come today by plane or on foot.
The tenor of these times shifts the balance to the play toward the immigration issue and a little away from the ailing mind of dockworker Eddie Carbone (John Fredo).
He and wife Beatrice (Debbie Pappas Sham) are raising Eddie’s niece, Catherine, (Renee Landrigan). On the cusp of 18, she’s a beautiful young woman and Eddie has mixed feelings about her moving into the wider world and away from him because they are close, very, very close.
Eddie busts his ass on the corrupt, ethnic docks of Red Hook in Brooklyn, in the days when cargo came ashore in giant nets which can be robbed, instead of today’s containers which usually wind up in New Jersey, sealed.
Beatrice has been asked to house two cousins, Italian illegals, smuggled in on a ship to the docks and delivered late at night to their building.
Marco (Adam Yellen) and Rodolpho (Adriano Gatto) arrive.
Marco has a wife and kids back home and wants to make enough money to eventually go back and establish a good home for his family.
Rodolpho wants to come and stay and Eddie doesn’t like that when the relatively inexperienced Catherine gets into the first big relationship of her life, with Rodolpho.
Catherine hasn’t finished high school yet but has a job arranged by the school and makes pretty good money.
To ensure the smugglers are paid, Rodolpho and Marco are working on the docks and also making pretty good money.
Marco is sending it home.
Rodolpho is acting like any out-of-towner and touring New York with Catherine and Eddie is getting really worked up.
He even goes to see the neighborhood lawyer and Italian immigrant, Alfieri (Peter Palmisano), a central character and the narrator who holds it all together, in a sense a Greek chorus.
Eddie decides to sabotage the relationship and commits the unforgiveable sin of snitching to Immigration.
Marco will go back but Rodolpho arranges to marry Catherine and probably stay, as Alfieri works through the legal system.
That brings on the final confrontation between Eddie and Rodolpho.
The one thing that remains in the script is the Fifties filters which make Eddie never quite say he thinks Rodolpho is gay, with the times limiting him to saying, “He ain’t right.”
Director Waterhouse is working with a strong cast and David King’s design which suggests a Greek theater and Greek tragedies and “A View from the Bridge” certainly qualifies as that.
Waterhouse also has that classic script from Miller and the tenor of those times, when the playwright said this was based on a true story, and the tenor of these times when immigration and illegals are a major issue.
Miller wrote a lot of plays and the Kavinoky has been on a tour of his catalog which continues next year with “The Crucible,” another look at a time and an issue which carries forward.
The Kav’s production of “A View from the Bridge” works wonderfully because of the basic script, strong direction and a dynamite performance from Fredo.
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