Brooklyn | 2h 30m | Already closed

Death of a Salesman (Theater Mitu)

From 6 critic and 29 member reviews
Members say: Ambitious, Edgy, Confusing, Intense, Great acting

About the show

Theater Mitu brings a hyper-theatrical production of Arthur Miller's Pulitzer-winning drama to BAM, in which human beings become objects, music carries the memory of days long gone, and a life is reduced to a mortgage. More…

Held hostage by their past, a family grapples with failure, worth, and a world closing in around them. Theater Mitu’s staging of Arthur Miller’s 'Death of a Salesman' explores a landscape of unrealized hopes and asks what happens when you are written out of the American Dream.

2h 30m | Already closed | BAM - Fishman Space (Brooklyn)

More Than The Play Blog

"Polendo bestows this American classic with great depth due to his distinctive interpretation...The production is visually stunning, collaboratively conceived, and emotionally impactful...Nestor and Asbell are truly captivating as Willy and Linda Loman...The visual images are potent and riveting, and surprisingly evoke a strong emotional response. This is the genius of this production." Full Review

Theatre is Easy

"Theater Mitu manages to reinterpret this canonical work into something wholly unique and utterly fascinating by using techniques of experimental and absurdist theatre, combined with elements of Japanese puppetry...These avant-garde elements create a distinct and stylized universe, which would not be successful without the expert skill of director Polendo and his incredibly talented cast...This arresting production artfully brings the Loman family back to where they have always belonged." Full Review


“A highly stylized and thrilling interpretation...Theater Mitu's revival breathes new life into ‘Salesman'…Polendo and Theater Mitu's nontraditional approach to the material, despite being initially disorienting, suits Miller's memory play…Purists who prefer a straightforward 'Salesman' may balk at Theater Mitu's take. This production, however, performed at a time when our country is taking a hard look at its own delusions, gives Miller's words a modern resonance.” Full Review

Broadway Blog

"A wide range of theatrical conventions are used to approach the work...Cumulatively, this makes for a somewhat assaulting production that overshadows Miller’s searing dialogue, which works best when the actors are simply acting...This isn’t to say that all is lost in director Polendo’s experimentation. Repetitive movements that hark back to Chekhov’s psychological gestures add gravitas to moments...While I feel like the company has a visionary style, the substance is lost in translation." Full Review


"Biff's farewell speech and the simplicity with which Sullivan performs it are all the more powerful for being set against Mitu's anti-realistic staging, with Polendo's fanciful direction, the stylized performances of his fellow actors, and the changing colors of Ashton's lighting. Nothing in this production is as effective or emotionally involving as Sullivan's confrontation...Mitu's production is for the most adventurous theatergoers." Full Review

The New York Times

"This revival eclipses the classic instead of illuminating it...Director Polendo’s unproductive, experimental staging is mostly just talking to itself, sidelining a larger conversation...The directorial flourishes jam the flow of emotion...By the time Willy is speak-singing sales advice, empathy has fled, and the show feels like the world’s saddest and weirdest production of 'How to Succeed in Business'...The gap between its aims and its peculiar ways of achieving them never gets bridged." Full Review

Haunting, Strange, Exquisite

See it if you are open to a deconstruction of western theatre in general.

Don't see it if you often say "that was too weird for me."

Also this was my second time seeing this production, the first time being a... Read more Read less

Ambitious, Edgy, Great acting, Quirky, Intense

See it if You like avant garde surreal theatre. New takes on an old classic. Colorful, inventive. Clever props as people manned by puppeteers. Angst.

Don't see it if you don't like surreal twists on classics. Minimalism. Puppets. Masks. You want a standard production in a classic setting.

Also I was thrilled with the inventiveness of this production. I loved the ... Read more Read less

Resonant, Ambitious, Intense

See it if ..You like classics in avant guard rendition. Puppetry, Japanese Bunraku theatre, one woman band, haunting visuals, heartfelt story.

Don't see it if ..You don't like things odd and prefer realism in the theatre.

Great acting, Relevant, Great writing, Thought-provoking, Absorbing

See it if You are familiar with the play/ like a different way of portraying a classic play/ enjoy a relevant and moving story that depicts perception

Don't see it if You can't suspend your disbelief and commit to the abstract way of telling this story

Delightful, Entertaining, Great acting, Edgy, Great staging

See it if You want to be blown away by great acting and staging.

Don't see it if You only wan to see the play in its original format.

Also My guess is that before this ends there will be fights. You can't see ... Read more Read less

Absorbing, Clever, Enchanting, Quirky, Relevant

See it if You enjoy experimental takes on American classics. You want an exploration of family dynamics.

Don't see it if You want typical theatre, this is highly stylized, using maskwork and puppetry to reimagine the play.

Clever, Exquisite, Great staging, Refreshing

See it if you'd wanna see a refreshing take of an American classic in a completely different manner and conventions

Don't see it if you have always loved the naturalistic approach of Miller's play

Absorbing, Clever, Edgy

See it if you want to see a new look at a great classic. The Fisher is a great place for a production. A bit of music and a bit of dance. too.

Don't see it if you are fixed at a certain concept of the play or can no longer tolerate the almost 3 hour plays of yore.

Clever, Intelligent, Intense, Ambitious, Thought-provoking

See it if You like extremely avantgarde theater with incredible lighting. Fascinating use of color and use of time. Excellent and complex acting.

Don't see it if You don't like inanimate object work (as main characters) or if you don't like puppeteers/mime and face masks.

Also Then stagecraft was fascinating and the story transcended even with th... Read more Read less

Great acting, Edgy, Intense, Disturbing, Unconventional cast

See it if you haven't seen the classic play or want to see a diff't refreshing version. The minimalist staging make you focus on the effective acting.

Don't see it if you want a fancy staging with a big cast.. as there are only 4 actors and the rest are "talking props" that can be both fun & disturbing.

Advant-garde, Interesting use of music & light, Engrossing acting, Clever mininal staging

See it if you are open to listing and experiencing the themes of DOAS in a fascinating manner

Don't see it if you Love Arthur Miller's Pulitzer-winning drama and are expecting a Str8 forward interpretation of the script

Ambitious, Edgy, Thought-provoking, Slow, Intense

See it if you are into new wave theatre and you have a slight interest in seeing a new interpretation of this classic play. Interesting symbolism.

Don't see it if you might be disappointed if you are a huge fan of this play. There are a lot of elements in this production you might be disagreed with.

Different, Absorbing, Entertaining, Ambitious, Intelligent

See it if You like experimenting, with a classic. They hold true to it, sort of. It took me a while to get it. By the end I bought in completely.

Don't see it if You don't like your classics messed around with or if you have memories of Phillip Seymour Hoffman from Broadway that you want to live on.

Ambitious, Edgy, Slow, Thought-provoking, Indulgent

See it if Hyper-stylized production of Miller's classic about dissolution of American dream The least studied performance -Sullivan's Biff takes focus

Don't see it if Polendo's abstract concept often puts us at odds with emotional appreciation. Has a 'peaks & valleys' feel as many effects miss their mark

Clever, Great staging, Profound, Slow, Confusing

See it if You want an experimental take on a classic play. The abstract puppetry and background dance/movement was profound.

Don't see it if If you can only appreciate realism (like a movie); if you can't follow shows that use symbolisms and the abstract; if you can't concentrate.

Also I really enjoyed this play; but at first I found it very confusing and... Read more Read less

Confusing, Ambitious, Indulgent, Intense, Refreshing

See it if You like experimental theater

Don't see it if You don't like experimental theater

Ambitious, Dizzying, Great acting, Edgy, Intense

See it if u like long, distorted interpretations of classic Americnan tragedies. Very experimental staging distracts from powerful themes/great acting

Don't see it if you want classic staging of a linear play. It's confusing and jarring and sometimes works, sometimes doesn't but makes a strong impact

Slow, Ambitious

See it if you love Arthur Miller plays and want to see a very unique theatrical rendition of it with some well done/interesting production values.

Don't see it if You don't want to see a classic play muddied with experimentation. It felt very long and with the singing and props, was very strange.

Confusing, Indulgent, Intense, Relevant, Dizzying

See it if you enjoy seeing American classics reworked and reimagined in ways that may or may not serve the script, you think weird is good.

Don't see it if you prefer more straightforward treatment of the classics, you think directors should leave well enough alone

Also I wanted to like this, but there is just way too much going on. If The... Read more Read less

Absorbing, Great writing, Confusing, Indulgent, Great acting

See it if you enjoy experimental theatre or a truly unique take on an American classic.

Don't see it if you're not into experimentation. I didn't know what I was watching (very strange), but the writing and performances kept me engaged.

Quirky, Ambitious, Confusing, Indulgent, Disappointing

See it if you're into experimental theatre, any/all "Deaths," or live music accompaniment (neat!); intrigued by use of puppets of a sort. Great venue!

Don't see it if you're not rested or focused (operating on zero sleep, I didn't last past intermission); jarred by sporadic song & music, by pseudo-puppetry

Also First time seeing the play & being at BAM Fisher, I give kudos for mus... Read more Read less

Great staging, Ambitious, Confusing, Indulgent

See it if you like very, very experimental theatre and have no respect for Arthur Miller.

Don't see it if you like this play and enjoy more conservative staging. Ideas are not bad, they just didn't work with this play.

Experimental, Interesting, Different, Strange take on a classic

See it if you know this American Classic play well & allow your imagination to interpret the incongruous accouterments ( electric fans, punching bag)

Don't see it if you have no patience for experimental theater (The narrative is straightforward, the presentation is not.); hate awful singing.

Also Challenging interpretation of an American Classic with some absolutely... Read more Read less

Ambitious, Confusing, Edgy, Excruciating, Thought-provoking

See it if You want to see a VERY experimental version of an American classic. You want unique & globally-inspired staging.

Don't see it if You want experimental staging that illuminates the play: some was successful, most of it didn't add anything.

Also I appreciate the risk & the time that the company took to present a ne... Read more Read less

Confusing, Great acting, Disappointing, Slow

See it if You like an unorthodox adaptation of an old classic.

Don't see it if You don't like experimental theater.

Also There is so much to unpack. I truly appreciated what the director was ... Read more Read less

Cast & Creatives (15)