by Sara Aronbayev
Broadway’s A View From the Bridge is packed with love and deceit. Set in the mid-1950’s, the play follows Eddie Carbone, a longshoreman living in Red Hook, Brooklyn, with his wife Beatrice, and Catherine (played by Scarlett Johansson), his 17-year-old orphaned niece. Eddie dotes on Catherine. This becomes more pronounced after Beatrice’s cousins come from Italy to start a new life in America. Sheltered Catherine falls for one of the immigrants, and Eddie’s passionate jealousy propels the play towards a series of tragic confrontations.
The actors’ portrayals of Arthur Miller’s character are spot on. Scarlett Johansson gives a remarkable performance in her Broadway debut, really committing to her role of an overly protected young woman itching to experience the world around her. The set played a significant part in creating the melancholy mood of the play. It revolves on a turntable, showing different locations, but keeping the same atmosphere. The dark lighting and cramped rooms highlight the anxiety that radiates from the characters’ inner conflicts: Catherine with her lack of freedom, Beatrice with her confusion over Eddie and Catherine’s relationship, and Eddie’s inappropriate desire for Catherine.
The central theme in A View From the Bridge — jealousy — is very relevant to modern teenagers. It’s like the forbidden fruit on the tree: you always want what you can’t have. Though written fifty years ago, this play has withstood the test of time.
TICKETS: $26.50 general rush • Shubert Theatre, 225 W. 44th St.