Death of a Salesman

March 26, 2012

I blog quite a bit about Arthur Miller’s play “Death of a Salesman.” In fact, I offer a testimonial to the play at the front of my novel THE PROVIDER. “So attention must be paid. . . .  Attention, attention must be finally paid to such a person.”

I just learned that the play is now the rage of Broadway, with scalpers reaping $750 a ticket. Mike Nichols is directing it and Philip Seymour Hoffman is Willy Loman. Worth the scalpers’ price!

I remember the news that Brian Donnelly was starring in the role of Willy Loman and he received the Tony Award for it. I told my husband, “If our schedule were free, I would buy a airplane ticket to New York just to see his performance, and then come home. (I did not know about scalpers.)  Brian Donnelly has that hulking weight to add to the forlorn Willy’s problems.  I knew he would win the Tony. (Yes, Arthur Miller said that Dustin Hoffman’s small size in the TV performance was closer to his vision of Willy.) Nevertheless, I like the physicality of Brian Donnelly.

I first saw Philip Seymour Hoffman in “Scent of a Woman.” He stood out as a remarkable talent, unique, extremely creative. I thought I alone, in this entire world, saw his talent. And then he shows up as “Capote” and wins the Academy Award. Well!

So here he is, in the greatest of all our American plays. Only “Long Days Journey into Night” by Eugene ONeill qualifies, according to some officionados). Mike Nichols gives the play unqualified supremacy.

So now Philip Seymour Hoffman is being honored with the role. Congratulations, Mr. Hoffman.

Ironically, I have been reading the play and discussing it so often because of THE PROVIDER that I have battered my desire to buy an airplane ticket as well as a theatre ticket from a scalper. But I am always ready to indulge in a heavenly conversation with Mr. Miller.