Entertainment » Theatre

Death Of A Salesman

by Matthew Martello
Contributor
Wednesday May 8, 2013
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’Death of a Salesman’ at the Cockroach Theatre
’Death of a Salesman’ at the Cockroach Theatre  

"Death Of A Salesman" revolves around the last days of Willy Loman, a failing salesman, who cannot understand how he failed to win success and happiness. Through a series of tragic soul-searching revelations of the life he has lived with his wife, his sons, and his business associates, we discover how his quest for the "American Dream" kept him blind to the people who truly loved him. This Pulitzer Prize winning drama has enjoyed many successful runs at varying levels of theatre. Chalk up one more rousing success for Cockroach Theatre in Las Vegas.

The production from top to bottom was absolutely superb. Director Troy Heard did an excellent job casting this production. Each cast member had an impact on the show. Ernie Curcio was marvelous as the defeated salesman Willie Loman. He showed a great range of emotions throughout the performance.

While I found his performance a bit reminiscent of Dustin Hoffman’s in the 1985 film, Curcio certainly made the role his own. I absolutely loved the performance of Valerie Carpenter Bernstein as the sympathetic wife Linda Loman. She had plenty of times to shine, especially towards the end of Act One where she berates her sons for not being in Willie’s life enough.

Kerry Carnohan was an imposing and effective presence as Uncle Ben, Willie’s brother who struck it rich years ago while mining for diamonds.

Joe Basso (Biff) and Aaron Detting (Happy) were outstanding as the two sons. They had excellent interplay with each other as well as their parents throughout the show. Erik Amblad excelled as Howard Wagner, Willie’s boss who eases him out the door after 35 years of service in the company.

Kerry Carnohan was an imposing and effective presence as Uncle Ben, Willie’s brother who struck it rich years ago while mining for diamonds. Ross Horvitz (Bernard) and David Sankuer (Charley) were also outstanding in their roles as agitators in Willie’s life. Anita Bean (The Woman), Kyle Boatwright (Jenny), Nick Batton (Stanley), Sophia Martin (Miss Forsythe) and Kady Kay (Letta) should all be commended for assisting in rounding out a stellar cast.

This rendition was also aesthetically pleasing technically. The lighting and sound designs were outstanding throughout the production. I especially appreciated the projections that were offered during the various flashbacks during the show. The set was not only functional, but also beautiful to look at, making the Cockroach Theatre’s space look even bigger than it actually is.

In short, "Death Of A Salesman" is a play that needs to be re-visited with a production that needs to be supported. The show is every bit as poignant as it was when Mr. Miller wrote it. In this instance, a great deal of credit should be awarded to Cockroach Theatre.

"Death Of A Salesman" runs through May 19 at Cockroach Theatre, 1025 1st Street in Las Vegas. For tickets or information, call 702-818-3422 or visit www.flavors.me/cockroachtheatre.

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