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That's your opinion Here's Mine

Clybourne Park

At the Walter Kerr Theatre located at 219 West 48th Street. It opens on April 19, 2012 and plays until November 8, 2012. It runs two hours and five minutes with one intermission.

The play premiered off Broadway at the Playwright Horizons where it ran from January 29, 2010 to March 21, 2010. It then premiered in London at the Royal Court Theatre from August 20, 2010 to October 6, 2010 where it transferred to London's West End an played at the Wyndham's Theatre from January 28, 2011 to May 7, 2011. The London production won the Olivier Award for best new play. It also won the Pulitzer Prize for Drama in 2011.

The play takes place at 406 Clybourne Street in Chicago, Illinois.

Act One takes place in 1959. Bev (Christina Kirk) has sold her house and is in the middle of packing. Her husband Russ (Frank Wood) is sitting in a chair reading National Geographic. Francene (Crystal A. Dickinson) who is African American and their maid, has been with the family for a long time. She is helping Bev pack. The house was sold because their son killed himself in the upstairs room. He was a Koren War Veteran.

Bev has their minister Jim (Brendan Griffin) come to talk to her husband. It seems he has been cursing up a storm. Russ wants nothing to do with it. He tells the minister to go F--k Off.

Their neighbor Karl (Jeremy Shamos) and his pregnant, deaf wife Betsy (Annie Pausse) come to visit.

Francene husband Albert (Damon Gupton) comes to pick her up. He volunteers to help bring a trunk down from the second floor. With the help of Francene who isn't to happy about it.

Karl has come to plead with Russ not to sell the house. It seems that an African American family has purchase the house. Karl says once this happen people will start sell their houses lowering the property value for the rest of them that stay. He tells Russ he has sixty days to cancel the sale. Russ refuses.

Act Two takes place in 2009. Fifty years have passed. A white couple have purchased the house and are in the process of having the house razed. There is friction between the people who now living in Clybourne Park and the new owners. Lindsay (Annie) and her husband Steve (Jeremy) who are the new owners and their lawyer Kathy (Christina) are reading from documents which they hope will resolve the problems with their neighbors. It seems they want to build a house that is bigger than the others houses in the neighborhood.

The other couple Lena (Crystal) and her husband Nevin (Damon) are African Americans. Their lawyer Tom (Brendan) is trying to get across to him that they want the neighborhood to have the same continuity and not have this house stand out like a sore thumb.

Tensions builds and tempers fly. Racial implications are implied and nothing is solved.

The cast members play two different roles. One act they may be mild mannered and in the other be very strong willed. Which ever role they play each actor is outstanding. Especially note worthy is Annie Paisseas as the deaf wife and modern wife both forceful in a quite way. Crystal A. Dickinson as the maid who has to hide the way she feels in order to keep her job to the modern African American women who can and will speak what's on her mind. Jeremy Shamos both parts are a weasel but in a different way.

Frank Wood, Damon Gupton, Christina Kirk and Brendan Griffin all play both parts differently but effectively that we believe they are two different people.

This is a mind thinking play and worth seeing. There is more to the story then is in this review. The two under lining themes are that times don't change on some people's attitude toward African Americans and War Soldiers.

review ny Rozanna Radakovich.

Photos by Annazor. 

Death of a Salesman

Playing at the Ethel Barrymore Theatre located at 243 West 47th Street. The play opened on March 15, 2012 and runs until June 2, 2012. It runs two hours forty minutes with one intermission.

The play is written by American playwright Arthur Miller in 1949. It won a Pulitzer Prize for Drama and a Tony Award Best Play.

It premiered at the Morosco Theatre in February 1949 and ran for 742 performances. Lee J. Cobb played Willy. The play has been revived three times on Broadway. June 26, 1975 at the Circle in the Square running 71 performances. George C. Scott starred as Willy. March 29, 1984 it played at the Broadhurst Theatre running 97 performances. Dustin Hoffman played Willy. In a return engagement this production re-opened on September 14, 1984 and ran for 88 performances. This production won a Tony Award for Best Revival and a Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Revival. February 10, 1999 it ran at the Eugene O"Neill Theatre for 274 performances with Brian Dennehy as Willy. This production won the Tony Award for Best Revival for a Play, Best Actor, Best Feature Actress (Elizabeth Franz) and Best Direction (Robert Falls) .

This revival is directed by Mike Nichols. In the 1950's he was half of a comedy team with Elaine May. He is among a small group that have won an Emmy, Grammy, Oscar and Tony Award. In 1961 he won a Grammy Award for Best Comedy Album. He won a Tony Award for "Bare Foot in the Park" (1964), "Luv" and "The Odd Couple" (1965), "Plaza Suite" (1968), "the Prisoner of Second Ave" (1972), "Annie" (1977), "Real Thing" (1984), "Spamalot" (2005). Mike won an Emmy Award in 2001 for out standing movie made for television for "Wit" and in 2004 for "Angels in America". He won an Oscar in 1968 for Best Director for the film "The Graduate". There are many more wins and nominations-too many to mention.

Phillip Seymour Hoffman is an American actor and director. He won an Academy Award in 2005 for "Capote" Phillip received an Academy Award nomination for "Charlie Wilson's War" (2007), and "Doubt" (2008). He has appeared on Broadway in "Long Day's Journey Into Light" and "True West". Both plays he was nominated for a Tony Award. He made his directorial debut in 2010 for "Jack Goes Boating".

Linda Edmond was nominated for a Tony Award in 2003 for "Life x 3".

Andrew Garfield know for the movie "The Social Network " will be starring in the up coming "The Amazing Spider Man" movie.

John Glover received a Emmy nomination in 1994 for Outstanding Guest actor in a Comedy series in "Frasier".

Molly Price Is known for her role in "Third Watch" (1995-2005).

The play takes place in Willy Lomans house and yard and various places in New York City and Boston in the late 1940's.

The story revolves around Willy Loman (Philip Seymour Hoffman) a traveling salesman, his wife Linda (Linda Emond), their sons Biff (Andrew Garfield) and Happy (Finn Wittrock).

Willy is sixty three years old and is tired doing all the traveling he has to do. No longer on a salary and commissions. He's struggling to make ends met on just commissions and has to borrow money from his neighbor Charley (Bill Camp).

His sons come home to visit. Biff has not seen or spoken to his father in a long time. There is a riff between them. Among the things are his father wants him to go into business and he's not interested he'd rather work outdoors. While his brother on the other hand does.

Willy's mental state is in question he see things that are not there like conversions with his brother Ben (John Glover). He is also suicidal and has tried to kill himself a couple of time with his car.

This is a story of an American family whose core is splitting. apart. Those who care especially the wife can't put it back together. There are other characters who come in and out for short periods to tell the story.

Philip Seymour Hoffman is compelling as the man giving up on life. The only problem was in the beginning when he comes home tired and confused it was hard hearing him otherwise he was great.

Linda Emond plays her role with such relish you feel sorry for her . The wife that is brow beaten by her husband but still loves him and stands by him any way. She reminds us convincingly (besides the clothes) that this is 1949 not 2012. Any woman I hope in this day would have left him.

Andrew Garfield and Finn Wittrock both play their roles with gusto. Andrew is especially outstanding with he is pleading with his dad to listen to him and hear what he has to say.

John Glover and Molly Price stand out in their supporting roles. Molly is "The Woman" that Willy has an affair with.

This is a tragic story you want to shake the characters and say will some one just shut up and listen to what each one has to say.

Death of a Salesman is worth seeing. The cast does a job well done. This is the kind play you get wrapped up with characters as if they are members of your own family.

Review by Rozanna Radakovich.

Photos by Annazor. 

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