best play (that’s Death of a Salesman) or even close to his mostproduced work (probably The Crucible). What it is is a punch-to-the-gut lookat of one man’s destructive obsession and the ramifications of that obsessionon his family, his friends, and his community.
It’s sometime in the 1950’s, and Italian-immigrant attorney Alfieri(Joe Winkler) wants to tell us about a client whose case has stuck with him.That client is Eddie Carbone (Edward McCloud), a dockworker on the piers of NewYork. He lives in a Brooklyn flat with his wife Beatrice (Mary Delorenzo) andhis 17-year-old orphaned niece Catherine (Nina Cauntay). Conflict first arisesbetween them when Catherine is offered a job that Eddie does not want her totake. That conflict is compounded by the arrival of Marco (Matt Farrell) andRodolpho (Erik Weiss), nephews of Beatrice who arrive in the country illegallyand who Eddie has agreed to harbor. Rodolpho soon takes a liking to Catherineand vice-versa. Eddie has a problem with this, and his concerns go waybeyond normal father-daughter issues.
Eddie wants Rodolpho gone, and after his attempts to convince Catherinethat Rodolpho just ain’t “right” fail, he makes a decision that will tear hisfamily, his community and himself apart.
Director and co-scenic designer (with Martin Gilberston) JaredSakren adapts the stripped-down approach taken by many contemporary productionsand it works. The intimacy of the Monroe Stage does work against it at times –particularly during the fight scenes – but it also heightens the tension inothers.
McCloud is strong (though a bit vociferous) as Eddie, as isDeLorenzo as the suffering wife who clearly sees what Eddie refuses to see abouthis feelings for Catherine. Cauntay impresses as the obliviously beguilingCatherine and Winkler excels as the voice of reason who Eddie refuses to hear.
Character actors Weiss and Farrell do okay with their roles asliterally “fresh off the boat” Italian immigrants, but I sense that dealingwith an accent limited their abilities to delve deeper into their characters.Weiss does ultimately connect in a confrontation with Catherine.
Issues of honor, justice, the law, and even immigration are dealtwith here, but at its core it’s a well-told classic Greek tragedy of a man andhis self-induced downfall.
‘A View from theBridge’ runs through Feb. 23 on the Monroe Stage at 6th Street Playhouse inSanta Rosa. Friday and Saturday evening performances are at 7:30pm; there are Saturdayand Sunday matinees at 2pm.
For specific dateand time information, go to 6thstreetplayhouse.com