New Yiddish Rep presents Arthur Miller’s Tony Award and Pulitzer Prize-winning masterpiece, updated and performed in Yiddish with English super-titles. More…
Set in the late 1940s, the story follows traveling salesman Willy Loman as he slowly unravels. The play explores the complicated family relationship between Willy, his wife, Linda, and their adult sons, Biff and Happy. In this Pulitzer Prize and Tony-winning drama, playwright Arthur Miller examines how far one man will go to provide for his family and achieve the American dream.
"A remarkable cast beautifully captures its raw, realistic pathos. Avi Hoffman delivers a tour-de-force portrait of Willie Loman and attention must be paid…Performed on a bare set, save for a table and chairs, the New Yiddish Rep's revival is riveting. Brilliantly calibrated by director Moshe Yassur, who gets exceptional performances from his cast, this version is not to be missed." Full Review
"Moshe Yassur’s direction is impressive, particularly because he doesn’t give himself much furniture to work with...Hoffman leads an excellent company of actors who are not only delving deep into the soul of Miller's masterpiece, they are doing so in Yiddish...If you speak Yiddish, I imagine this production will only be more poignant and moving." Full Review
"I simply can’t get this production out of my mind. Both the company and the cast deserve an abundance of praise for their talents and achievement. Both were inspired. Once again deliberate simplicity produced consequential significance." Full Review
"Yiddish, the language of body and soul as well as words, flays open the red drama inside to a depth its English characterization has never quite achieved...'Death of a Salesman' in this Yiddish production is a worthy addition to the present New York theater scene. It honors Arthur Miller and his great play." Full Review
"In this new production, Arthur Miller’s play achieves a further resonance by being performed entirely in Yiddish. The Yiddish locates the play squarely in the world of the immigrant...The supertitles are unobtrusive; non-Yiddish speaking audiences will understand every single word. The intimate theater space highlights the dramatic tensions in the play. This is a very good production of a very good play." Full Review
"Avi Hoffman’s performance stands among the best of Willy Lomans in the history of Arthur Miller’s classic...The drama is extremely well mounted under the direction of Moshe Yassur...Helping to make the experience rewarding are the excellent other cast members." Full Review
"A winning staging can be a tall order, but director Moshe Yassur is up to the task. Even the production’s shortcomings seem to work in his favor. The action flows seamlessly and quickly from scene to scene, giving a kinetic energy to Willy’s inevitable collapse and making his many fugue-like flashbacks blur into and out of reality with a mesmerizing air of confusion." Full Review
"This production, excellent as it is, would have been just as good in English...'Toyt fun a seylsman' thus presents a kind of alternate history, where one could be an alienated, assimilated Jew, and still speak Yiddish. It’s a strange and unrealistic prospect, and witnessing it on stage is a weird experience. But it is also a refreshing one. This is Yiddish that just is, with no justifications, explanations or apologies. It’s a fascinating thought experiment — and also great theater." Full Review
"New Yiddish Rep's translation opens up whole new vistas of interpretation...The play becomes more about the dangers of assimilation than the failure of the American Dream. If the rootlessness of the Lomans is not apparent in traditional productions, it certainly becomes blatantly obvious when the family becomes Jewish and speaks Yiddish...It's not hard to speculate on how much better even this great classic might have been if Miller had been more in touch with his roots." Full Review
"The job of art is to make familiar things new and new things familiar; this rendition does both, in its own mysterious way...If you’re looking for a unique theatre experience that you can also take your Jewish great-aunt to, this is it. And even if you don’t have a Jewish great-aunt, there is still more than enough reason for you to attend." Full Review
"Jumping into this play and buying a ticket for $50.00 admittedly isn't a decision you should take lightly. There are layers to process and lines to read and, spoiler alert, suicides to contemplate. For fans of the classic, however, this adaptation is different enough to be thought-provoking and yet similar enough to hold up to high standards." Full Review
"New Yiddish Rep’s 'Death of a Salesman' adds a new dimension to this well-known tragedy. With the English language supertitles it becomes accessible to a non-Yiddish speaking audience. The use of Yiddish gives the play an intimacy that it doesn’t ordinarily have, as though we were watching a cinéma vérité film. This version makes absolutely clear the universality of the play while at the same time placing it in the milieu that Miller was obviously writing about." Full Review
"It’s frustrating that design gets in the way of this production. Mr. Yassur stages much of the play with straightforward simplicity... But when Willy’s mind grows muddled, and when he flashes back, up come the creepy lights and the eerie music. These jarring distractions arguably have roots in Miller’s stage directions, but here they read as misguided modernism, confusing the action rather than clarifying it. Ultimately, they become a fatal flaw." Full Review
See it if You are into a whole new experience (I am talking about the Yiddish version of DOS). It brought fresh and poignant perspective.
Don't see it if You are not up for a play performed in Yiddish with supertitles.
See it if Death of a Salesman is always worth seeing.
Don't see it if You don't have an elementary grasp of the human-being condition and cannot understand the struggle to be more than you are.
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