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Miller play cradled in the era of the early U.S. Immigration Act

October, 2010

The Segal Theatre keeps tugging at my nostalgia heartstrings.

Last spring, it produced Harvey, the first play my mother took me to. It followed with The Jazz Singer, reminding me of Al Jolson Sings!, the first record my father bought me. The Segal opens its fall season with an Arthur Miller play, the first playwright I studied.

A View From the Bridge is considered one of the five best of the 35 plays Miller wrote.

Written in the mid-’50s but set in the ’30s, it is cradled in the era of the U.S. Immigration Acts of 1917-55, which established the INS and restricted immigration from southern and eastern Europe. Two Italian brothers, Marco and Rodolpho, jump ship in Brooklyn and are taken in by their cousin Beatrice and her husband, Eddie, a longshoreman.

Vlasta Vrana (from left), Tony Nardi and Marc Bendavid in View From the Bridge. Photo: Randy Cole

The couple hosts Eddie’s orphaned niece, Catharine. Lawyer Alfieri, narrates while suppressed sexual desires, INS agents and generational clashes lead to a violent resolution.

Two-time Genie winner Tony Nardi stars as Eddie and Diane Leblanc (Harvey, Tryst) directs.

Arthur Miller worked at these docks in his youth and Tony Nardi is from Calabria, so the feel of authenticity is assured.


A View From the Bridge, Oct. 3-24. 514-739-7944.

Speaking of Italian and Greek influences, consider two dynamic offerings at the Centaur Theatre. It is producing Paradise by the River by Vittorio Rossi, the pride of Ville Emard. This gripping tale of Canadian round-ups of Italo-hyphenates during the Second World War was presented at the Centaur to great acclaim in 1998, directed by Joel Miller. Miller, with many more plaudits since then, is back in the house.


Paradise By The River, Oct. 5-31. 514-288-3161

Medea, by 2,500-year-old upstart Euripides, still rocks. Centaur original artistic director Maurice Podbrey is cast as a king and appears alonside Scapegoat Carnivale’s usual assortment of top younger actors. Director Alison Darcy warns that Ms. Medea is not to be trifled with, as she wreaks vengeance amid the wailing of the Greek chorus.


Holly Gauthier-Frankel, familiar to Fringe audiences as ecdysiast Miss Sugarpuss, is listed in the cast. Will she shed her tunic? Medea, Oct. 21 to 30. 514-288-3161.



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