A View From The Bridge

By Arthur Millerteatro vista

Directed by Ricardo Gutierrez

Produced by Teatre Vista

At The Richard Christiansen Theatre at Victory Gardens Theater, Chicago

Powerfully intimate look at the modern telling of a classic Greek tragedy

Teatro Vista and director Ricardo Gutierrez have cast a terrific cast made up of many of Chicago’s “A” list Latino Equity actors to re-tell Arthur Miller’s allegorical tragedy. This production is true to Miller’s 1955 production as it vividly presents the downfall of  Eddie Carbone (Ramon Camin) an Italian-American longshoreman steeped in the Sicilian traditions of  respect, honor , and justice.

Narrated by Alfieri (Mark Ulrich), the neighborhood lawyer in the Red Hook section of Brooklyn near the docks and the bridge, the setting for this story sets the tone for the difference between American traditions of law versus the Italian ethics.

teatro vista Eddie Carbone , a longshoreman, is overly protective and desirous of his 17 year old live-in nice Catherine (Ayssette Munoz). Eddie runs this Sicilian family in the old school manner—as a dictator. His wife Beatrice (Sandra Marquez) tries to council Catherine to follow her heart as she persuades Eddie to let her grow up by taking an office job. When two of Beatrice’s relatives land in Brooklyn as “submarines” –illegal aliens, Eddie’s world comes apart. The code of the Sicilian neighborhood requires silence and aid to family members.

From their arrival at Eddie’s home, Marcol (Eddie Diaz) and Rodolpho (Tommy Rivera-Vega) are greeted with suspicion by Eddie. Rodolpho, a blond, fun-loving singer seen by Eddie as “not right in the head” (a euphemism for being gay).  That view turns nasty as Eddie realizes that Rodolpho and Catherine have eyes for each other.

Eddie’s submerged rage builds leading to disaster as Miller’s modern every-man tragedy unfolds. As the two youngsters grow into an “item,” Eddies pent up rage is near explosive.  He tries to leave a hint when he exchanges “boxing lessons” with Rodolpho but that hint fails.

When Eddie catches the two lovers together alone, his rage explodes and he banishes the two illegals from his home. He also crosses the line in betrayal of his immigrant family. The ending scenes are emotional, nicely staged and totally believable as we witness Eddies self-destruction.

We see Eddie’s pent-up sexual desire and his homophobia explode into tragedy. His journey unfolds as high drama. The cast was solid, particularly Sandra Marquez and, of course, Ramon Camin whose truthful emotional rage and genuine angst came across effectively. This is a worthy production of a classic Miller work.

Recommended

Tom Williams

At Victory Gardens Biograph Theater, 2433 N. Lincoln, Chicago, IL, Call 773-871-3000, www.teatrovista.org, tickets $25 – 430, Thursdays thru Saturdays at 7:30 pm, Sundays at 3 pm, running time is 2 hours with intermission, through May 18, 2014