Photo by Eric Chazankin
Director Sheri Lee Miller has dished up a slice of classy New York pie for Sonoma County playgoers with her deft production of Arthur Miller's The Price.
Now running through April 7th, I took a seat for an opening weekend Cinnabar performance of the Pulitzer Prize winning Death of A Salesman playwright's impassioned 1968 conflict-fueled reconciliation of long-estranged, post-Depression era brothers, Viktor and Walter Franz.
The play, convincingly set in a Brownstone attic, stuffed with dust-covered remnant's of the family's economic bust, mirrored much of Miller's own life. Born in 1915, son of a womens clothing company owner, Miller worked a wide variety of odd-jobs after graduating high school, following the collapse of his father's business during the Depression years. Having experienced work as a radio singer, truck driver and clerk in an automobile parts warehouse, Miller subsequently enrolled in the University of Michigan, writing plays as a student and joining the Federal Theater Project in New York City after receiving his degree.
Samson Hood's Viktor Franz never made it to college, joining the police force in order to stick around and help his widowed father make ends meet. Revelations from his successful older brother, surgeon, Walter Franz, played by John Shillington, would turn the younger brother's perceptions of responsibility and reality thoroughly inside out.
Broadway actor Charles Siebert gives a bravo performance as Gregory Solomon, a ressurected relic of a charismatic antiques dealer whom Miller positioned as the central weight in a see-saw of fraternal emotion.
Madeleine Ashe brings Viktor's frustrated wife, Esther Franz to life with svelte 1960s style and an enduring attitude to raise the couple's long-muted expectations. Every bit as poignany today as when it was first produced, The Price could be most any family addressing those eternal hot topics of obligation, ambition, sibling rivalry and resentment.
Regular priced tickets are $25, seniors $22. Click here for more info.