Death of a Salesman (Theater Mitu) NYC Reviews and Tickets
Ambitious, Confusing, Edgy, 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.
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.
"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."
“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.”
"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."
"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."
"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."
"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."