Arthur Miller's "A View from the Bridge" is given an update in GreyZelda Theater Group's production at StageLeft Theater. Jumping from staged action to several scenes pre-shot on video and back again to the stage, the production does attempt something new-and it's a questionable attempt at best.
The audio and cinematography in the video scenes are so poorly done that the rest of production is marred by the video's clumsiness, bad direction, lighting, editing and primitive quality. Something is definitely lost in the translation. To that end, seeing a group of actors on the screen pretending to be in 1955 Red Hook, Brooklyn with modern Chicago condo buildings in the background and a 1992 Nissan Sentra rumbling feebly down the street just makes the whole idea laughable.
And that's sad. There are three strong performances in the production that could really soar, if given the proper venue in which to do so. Nicolle Van Dyke as the long-suffering wife Beatrice, Kelly Breheny as the wide-eyed Catherine, and Tom Gordon as the new-in-town Rodolfo fit perfectly into their roles. With spot-on accents, great sense of timing, and affecting performances, all three do their best to keep the production on track.
The lead performance of Aris Tompulis as Eddie Carbone is unevenly paced, and he drops few lines here and there only to be saved time and again by Van Dyke. She truly earns top honors for pulling "View" back to shore.
One of the few highlights of the show is the costume and set design. A sparse dining/living area of a Brooklyn apartment house is as effective as the 1950s fashions sported by Beatrice, Catherine and Rodolfo.
If faced with "A View from the Bridge," you would be advised simply to take in the view and walk the other way as fast as you can. Stay much longer and you might want to take a leap.