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Sonoma County Gazette
Willy (Charles Siebert) is overcome by his responsibilities.
Willy (Charles Siebert) is overcome by his responsibilities.

Death of a Salesman at 6th Street Playhouse

Apr 16, 2018


Expectations weigh heavily on the Lomans, who quarrel over perceived success rather than genuine contentment, in Arthur Miller’s classic play. Tensions are strained between the old-fashioned father who is convinced that a likable demeanor will leverage a dazzling business career and his practical son, Biff, who prefers invigorating labor on ranches and farms. As the father grows exhausted from his overtaxing sales trips, leading to episodes of dementia, their passionate clashes increase, to the entire family’s distress.

Willy (Charles Siebert) comes to Charley (Al Kaplan) for help.

Burdened with regret, Charles Siebert’s nuanced Willy Loman is haunted by the past and troubled by a failing ability to survive on his own without leaning on others for financial support. His anxiety builds over the two acts, disintegrating into rambling hallucinations of pleasant memories interspersed with distressing lucidity. Supporting actorsAl KaplanandDwayne Stincelli add textured layers to Willy’s journey.

Happy (Ariel Zuckerman), Willy (Charles Siebert) and Biff (Edward McCloud) celebrate an upcoming football game.

The two brothers, Biff (Edward McCloud) and Happy (Ariel Zuckerman), have natural chemistry together, joking and reminiscing until their father’s unfortunate situation becomes apparent. Smooth-talking Happy prefers a settled peace, even if it is a lie, while Biff pushes for honesty and respect. Emotionally transparent, Sheila Lichirie’s Linda suffers silently in the background, stepping forward at key moments. Her presence is felt throughout, with poignant reactions.

Linda (Sheila Lichirie) believes in Willy above all elseCinematic sound design by Craig A. Miller expands the production quality and sense of place. Ryan Severt’s lighting of soft gold illuminates flashbacks, enabling smooth transitions between time periods in the play. Although loosely vintage, Tracy Hinman’s costume designs, particularly the suits, are effective.

The Lomans struggle to accept what is, rather than allowing false dreams to consume reality. 6th Street Playhouse’s powerhouse cast creates a dynamic ‘Death of a Salesman,’ persuasively directed by Miller.

Death of a Salesman

Presented by 6th Street Playhouse through April 28, 2018
Fri/Sat at 7:30pm, Thur April 19 at 7:30pm, Sun at 2:00pm

Studio Theatre at 6th Street Playhouse
52 W. 6th Street, Santa Rosa, CA 95401
(707) 523-4185

Photos by Eric Chazankin

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