Theater Review: A View from the Bridge

The forces that move the play are elemental, unstoppable once set into motion.

A View from the Bridge
By Arthur Miller
Translate and directed by Hillel Mittelpunkt
Bet Lessin 
February 1
A View from the Bridge is a big play because the forces that move it are elemental, unstoppable once set into motion; Greek tragedy, even if the flawed hero is a Brooklyn longshoreman rather than a king. The longshoreman is Eddie Carbone (Igal Naor) whose comfortable world fractures with the arrival of his wife Bea’s (Rivka Neuman) relatives from Sicily, illegal immigrants Marco (Dan Castoriano) and Rodolpho (Dror Dahan). As he views with growing horror the attraction that flowers between Rodolpho and Catherine (Hadas Moreno), the niece he and Bea have raised as their daughter, Eddie remains terribly unaware that that his affection for Cathy is more than familial.
Aflame, tormented by feelings he can neither identify nor control, Eddie betrays Bea’s cousins to the immigration authorities, and events spiral inevitably to their foredoomed conclusion.
Yet Hillel Mittelpunkt’s thoughtful production falls just short of grandeur, missing the inexorability that Miller wrote into it and expresses through his Chorus, the lawyer Alfieri, here sympathetically and unsentimentally played by Avi Uriya.  This is a play about love, betrayal and honor in their many aspects. Mittelpunkt and his actors plumb each of these themes, but their edgy, threatening sweep is missing.
Perhaps what puts the play out of balance is that the actors try to be Italian, which is so unnecessary in a play that makes its own world. Most of the time Naor does. His powerful, fleshly and courageous Eddie ingathers and assists the weaker performances; Moreno’s Cathy is too much the ingénue; Dahan’s Rodolpho never moves below the surface. For the rest, Neuman’s Bea is rock solid, and as Marco, Castoriano projects a compelling intensity.
Bottom line? This View is still good theater.