Plays have a way of speaking to an audience or an individual. If you listen closely, Death of a Salesman speaks to all of us and getting caught up with the pursuit of the American Dream can have us in tragedy, if we don’t listen to our hearts.
We all want to strive to be worthy, willing and wealthy in this ever changing world, which was the case for Willy Lohman and his family.
Set in the 1940′s, Willy is in his sixties and falls in and out of reality throughout the play as he tries to understand his lack of success as a salesman. He always believed he was going to make it big and make it rich and he wanted the same for his two sons Biff and Happy.
Biff is the bane of Willy’s love and disheartenment. He isn’t as successful and his younger brother Happy but harbors secrets, which keeps him from succeeding in life. It’s a familiar tune how our own thoughts can bog us down. Happy, on the other hand, appears successful but lives in denial and chases girl day in and day out so he doesn’t have to face the tragedy that is his family. Willy’s wife, Linda, loves her family dearly but ignores the bad and praises the good in her sons and husband hoping success will continue to flow through the family.
As the play grows, each character becomes the tragic symbol that they’ve tried to avoid their whole life. It’s a lengthy play but Mike Hartman, who plays Willy Lohman, does a fine performance with the ever changing scenes of “now” to when his children were barely teenagers to his conversations with this dead brother. Lauren Klein plays a very convincing Linda and her voice is just so fitting for the character.
Praises also goes to M. Scott Mclean as Happy and John Patrick Hayden as Biff. In the last act, a dramatic fight breaks out between family and as uncomfortable as it may be, it completely draws the audience in. It’s intense but quite incredible to watch John Patrick Hayden and Mike Hartman have at it.
The title may lend a hand to the ending but we learn why the Lohman family lost themselves in the pursuit and how many of us may be living hints of how they are living.
Death of a Salesman is playing at The Space Theater located inside the Denver Performing Arts Complex in Downtown Denver. This is the second time it has performed with Denver Center for the Performing Arts. The play is three hours long but if you appreciate classic plays then it’s not one to be missed.
WHEN: September 20 – October 20
The Space Theatre at the Denver Performing Arts Complex
950 13th St, Denver CO 80202
TICKETS: $47 – 57. Please click here to purchase.