Recently I had the good fortune to see Arthur Miller’s A View From the Bridge. It was at Center Theatre Group’s Ahmanson Theatre. The play in its original form is straight from the kitchen of a struggling family in cold war era New York.
A home drama usually staged in an actual house was turned into a play on par with a Greek tragedy. Staged on a sterile white floor boxed in by clear siding with sharp black boards on top, there was a black step leading to a crisp doorway at the back of the set. There were no changes to this set up.
There was a large black box that was raised and lowered at the beginning and end of the show that completely covered the entire stage and rested on the black boundary.
It felt like I was a giant looking into a world like my own, but not.
This was the work of Ivo van Hove. His interpretation dialed into human nature and what desperation does to the mind. It put all the attention on the actors, emotion, and themes that run throughout the play.
Accompanied only by an occasional drumbeat and Gothic church music, the actors carried every part of the play.
It was an amazing way to spend a Sunday afternoon. My head buzzed afterward.
The play was a microcosmic view of modern life, it remains applicable today. Immigration, prejudice, the weight of living.