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Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Arthur Miller on the Bridge

Waukesha Civic jumpstarts the ’50s-era tragedy

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Arthur Miller’s 1955 A View from the Bridge may seem a bit dated today, although the Waukesha Civic Theater’s production jumpstarts the tragedy’s energy with a spritely series of serviceable performances which gel together without any particular standout.

Noah Silverstein stars as Eddie, an Italian American living in Brooklyn’s Hook section near the famous bridge who cannot conceal his passion for his young niece or control his jealous attempts to ruin her marriage to a young illegal immigrant by exposing him.

Miller’s gradual, too-studied pacing by building drama from small increments works better in a more subtle production than this well-intentioned cast can muster. The cast sometimes succeeds, although the author’s handling of the now too-familiar immigration problems seems tepid. Miller’s developmental style, which seems more lackadaisical than usual in this work, takes its own sweet time in arriving at its dramatic conclusion. The Greek chorus effect of the offstage attorney, who is also part of the story, works well. Despite difficulties, A View from the Bridge was an enjoyable show.    

Through June 22 at the Margaret Brate Bryant Civic Theatre, 264 W. Main St., Waukesha.