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Death of a Salesman

a Epic Play
by Arthur Miller

COMPANY : Soul-stice Repertory Ensemble [WEBSITE]
VENUE : 7 Stages [WEBSITE]
ID# 378

SHOWING : February 07, 2002 - March 15, 2002



Director Heidi Cline
Stage Manager Marcelo Banderas
ASM/props Rita Ann Marcec
Howard Dolph Amick
Linda Pat Bell
Jenny Jennifer Bradley
Willy Loman Daniel Burnley
Biff Jeff Feldman
Bernard Luis Hernandez
Stanley Nick Rhoton
Miss Forsythe Chloe Sehr
The Woman Mary Stewart
Uncle Charley Al Stilo
Uncle Ben Bruce Taylor
Happy Geoff Uterhardt
Letta Kimberly A West
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A Man's Worth
by Mama Alma
Tuesday, March 12, 2002
I had the good fortune to see this play a second time on the same day I saw "Ivanov" and I was really struck by the similarities between the two. Willy Loman is "boxed in" and Ivanov is "trapped." Each man tries to deal with his dilemma in a different way, but in the end, those differences are inconsequential and lead to the same question. What is a man worth?

Pat Bell is, I think, simply amazing as Linda, Willy Loman's wife. Really extraordinary. Daniel Burnley's performance is so good that someone in the audience remarked, well, it was easy: he didn't have to play Willy Loman. He WAS Willy Loman, the same age, the same build, etc., etc. They got a shock later when they saw the actor, out of character. He's not like that at all! Oh my goodness, he's so YOUNG and HANDSOME! You will excuse me for laughing. My daughter is an actress, and she keeps telling me, that's why they call it ACTING. Daniel Burnley makes you believe he IS Willy Loman.

I love the small parts: the two hard dames (Kim West and Chloe Sehr) "on call" at the restaurant, with their wonderful little streetwise accents; Nick Rhoton's smoothly unctuous waiter Stanley (light your cigarette Mr. Loman, get you a drink Mr. Loman, take your money, Mr. Loman -- I love to watch Nick work); and Dolph Amick hitting just the right note as the had-it-all-handed-to-me-on-a-silver-platter-but-that-don't-mean-it-ain't-mine Howard, comfortable before his time.

Al Stilo and Luis Hernandez are great as Charley and Bernard, the father and son who have realized the American dream. They don't have to talk the talk because they walk the walk. Mary Stewart and Bruce Taylor stand out as the icons of Willy's past failures, Stewart the symbol of his infidelity, Taylor the symbol of his indecision and lack of ambition. Stewart mocks Willy with her sensual laugh, Taylor haunts Willy with his shiny success (in an especially nice touch he's dressed in an almost flourescent white suit). When either Stewart and Taylor is on stage it's hard to focus on anyone else.

Geoff Uterhardt and Jeff Feldman you know, they actually look like brothers. I know both these guys and I don't think they look at all alike, except they're both tall. Maybe it's how they lit the set, or the way the actors held themselves, or smoked a cigarette together, but damn, they really looked and sounded like brothers. (Or maybe, mom, it was just acting.) Feldman has the journeyman's part here. He reminded me a lot of Tom in "The Glass Menagerie" (and I'm dying to see Feldman in that role hint, hint, directors). Biff is suffocating, and the only way he can breathe free is to leave, to get out west where there's big sky and lots of air. Uterhardt plays Happy, the son who stayed, who bought into the family hype and who resolutely keeps oiling the waters. He's especially good when he's playing off Nick Rhoton. I thought the two of them were going to slide right out of the restaurant on the waves of their mutual self admiration!

At bottom, though, the success of this play rests on the stooped shoulders of Willy Loman. We have to care about what happens to this sad little man. Willy possibly couldn't bear up under such a burden, but Daniel Burnley handles it quite nicely. And that's worth a lot. [POST A COMMENT REGARDING THIS REVIEW]
Fanfare for the Common Man
by kozmo
Tuesday, March 12, 2002
This production is what theatre is all about! Funny. Moving. Tender. Raw. True.

Heidi Cline's brilliant directorial vision about the death of Willy Loman, a common salesman so desperate to hang on to the past, rings true to the heart and soul of this American classic.

Soul-stice Repertory Ensemble prides itself in the bonding of actor, language, and embracing passionate, compelling theatre. I must say ensemble work doesn't get any better than this! Daniel Burnley (Willy Loman) leads a fine cast of Atlanta actors including Jeff Feldman (Biff), Geoff Uterhardt (Happy), Pat Bell (Linda), and Luiz Hernandez (Bernard). If you go, pay close attention to some outstanding acting in those pivotal roles that only appear in one or two scenes. They breathe a life of their own!

If you love theatre that makes you think...makes you ache...makes you re-evaluate the priorities in your own life...makes you feel alive...makes you grateful...makes you fall in love...then you MUST see DEATH OF A SALEMAN!



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