Thursday, September 30, 2010

Wrestling with Willy Loman

There's talk of a Mike Nichols-Phillip Seymour Hoffman-Linda Emond Death of a Salesman on Broadway in 2011, according to Michael Riedel in the New York Post.

Bobo likes the idea of of PSH as Willy Loman; and he likes Riedel's irreverent tone toward Nichols' directing (and, especially, his Seagull) — no sacred cows here; and he especially likes Brian Dennehy's comments about "wrestling" with a great role for six months.
Which brings up a (conveniently localizing) thought: In a town where plays run for five weeks max (and usually much less), how does anyone really sink their teeth into monumental (or merely challenging) role?

What Bobo thinks he thinks: If Dennehy needs six months, then none of us locally are achieving the maximum in short runs. Possible partial solution: long-time pre-rehearsal preparation. (I'm thinking Brian Gunn in Buddy and what Damon Mentzer is doing for Richard III at SFCC next year: Total immersion, totally running with it even before the table reading, so that maybe, just maybe, by the end of a short run — and long after those picky critics see it on opening night — a given role can achieve full fruition.)

[ photo: Brian Dennehy in Death of a Salesman; from ]

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At September 30, 2010 3:46 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

It is great when the actor playing a major role studies a script for 6 months or a year, but they are not in a bubble on stage. If the other actors aren't as committed to their performances, then the leads can't reach great heights.

At October 04, 2010 7:12 AM , Anonymous Rebecca said...

I love the idea of the time spent studying and the commitment to the role and project, but keep in mind that performers that have to work a day job are going to face major obstacles finding that kind of time. The theaters in the area that do pay actors have to minimize costs by keeping rehearsal periods short. Kudos to those professional or community actors who put in the extra time and work, especially without any monetary compensation for that time.


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