By: Patrick Christiano
Bay Street Theater in Sag Harbor presents Death of a Salesman
Arthur Miller’s Pulitzer Prize winning drama Death of a Salesman opened at Bay Street Theater as part of their ongoing annual Literature Live productions. The powerful play intensely directed by Joe Minutillo is arguably one of the greatest of the 20th century. Set in the late 1940’s the story focuses on the Loman family’s struggle with financial insecurity and their illusions just after World War II. Although Miller wrote the play in 1949 it feels equally relevant today as Americans face declining opportunities to achieve their dreams.
David Manis gives a strong and confident performance as Willy Loman, the family patriarch, who is a traveling salesman. The story follows him, and his family as they face the harsh truths that they have been denying for decades. Willy spirals into mental disarray as his health and prospects crumble projecting his disappointment onto his elder son, a tormented Biff, nicely played by the chiseled Rob DiSario. Willy criticizes Biff unrelentingly for his son’s failures. Meanwhile Biff staring down his own regrets blames his father for his unrealistic expectations, and his family for their inability to face the truth about their lives. Their conflicts are harrowing peaks into their tortured souls.
Miller’s dark take on the fragility of the American dream feels ominously current as millions of Americans today are unhappy and struggling themselves. Bay Street’s heartbreaking production is a consistently engaging reminder of that in a poignant staging by Joe Minutullo. The excellent cast deliver deeply felt performances under his steady guidance.
Director Joe Minutillo has previously helmed Literature Live! productions of The Diary of Anne Frank, To Kill a Mockingbird, Of Mice and Men, and The Scarlet Letter. His more than serviceable cast of accomplished actors throw themselves into their respective roles with an intensity that is. also include Willy Cappuccio as Bernard and Stanley, Keith Cornelius as Uncle Ben and Howard, Chloë Dirksen as the Woman, Rachel Feldman as Jenny and Letta, Scott T. Hinson as Happy Loman, Tina Jones as Miss Forsythe, Neal Mayer as Charley, and Carolyn Popp as Linda Loman,
The production team includes Michael Holland (Music), Mike Billings (Set Designer/Sound Designer), Dalton Hamilton (Lighting Designer/Sound Designer), Melanie Clifton Harvey (Costume Designer), Meg Murphy (Hair/Wig Designer), Denise Yaney (Production Stage Manager), and Kelsy Durkin (Assistant Stage Manager).
Death of a Salesman is now playing at Bay Street Theater in Sag Harbor through November 25, 2017
For Tickets Call 631 725-9500
Photography: Lenny Stucker
Photography: Lenny Stucker