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McLean High School A View from the Bridge

By • Apr 16th, 2012 • Category: Cappies

The lights come up and the audience finds themselves sitting inside the small apartment of the Carbone family. Literally. In McLean High School’s production of Arthur Miller’s play A View from the Bridge, the audience got a first-hand feel for what life was like in the Carbone family after two illegal immigrants moved in with them. The play was performed in a black box theatre, allowing for intimate connections and realistic subtleties. The cast and crew did an excellent job portraying the play’s difficult themes of love, respect, and honor.

The play, written by Arthur Miller, is set in 1950s New York and follows the lives of the Carbone family after they take in two illegal immigrants from Italy. The play’s protagonist Eddie Carbone (Damian Leverett) must wrestle with his inappropriate romantic feelings for his 17-year-old niece Catherine (Lexie Shoaibi), whom he has raised since childhood and is now losing to one of the Italian immigrants, Rodolpho (Max Johnson). This struggle wears on Eddie until eventually he snaps, betraying his friends and family, and eventually causing his own death. The show has run in both New York and London, and the 1965 Broadway revival won the Tony award for Best Revival of a Play.

McLean High School’s production of A View from the Bridge was incredibly powerful. The small cast worked wonderfully together to create believable relationships and realistic characters, delivering a show that was both entertaining and thought-provoking. While the show itself is light on technical aspects, the McLean tech crew did a nice job complimenting the actors, and helped to contribute to the realistic nature of the show.

Damian Leverett tackled the extremely advanced character of Eddie Carbone with remarkable maturity and did an outstanding job capturing the character’s intricacies and of showing his psychological turmoil. Levertt’s portrayal of Carbone was believable and powerful, and beyond the level of a high school actor. Lexie Shoaibi did a good job as Catherine Carbone, showing her character development from a sweet, silly girl to a young woman who must face the real world and make a difficult decision.

As the Italian immigrant Rodolpho, Max Johnson was both entertaining and funny, while still honoring the realistic, tragic style of the rest of the cast. Siena Richardson did a good job portraying Beatrice Carbone, Eddie’s wife, and was able to capture Beatrice’s complex jealousy from seeing her husband fall for her niece in a way that was heart wrenching and believable. The commitment of the entire cast to their characters was evident in everything they did, making the play believable and powerful.

The show did not contain many technical elements, but those that were there were effective and enhanced the actions of the cast. Most impressive were the set and props, all of which stayed true to the time period. The costumes, hair, and make-up were also all well done and helped add to the show’s realism. Lighting and sound were barely noticeable, but did a good job enhancing certain plot points. Tech as a whole was simple, but it was well-executed and effective, and added to the play’s overall production value.

The cast and crew of McLean High School’s production of A View from the Bridge worked well together to create a show that was both entertaining and thought-provoking. They handled difficult themes of love and betrayal with impressive maturity and professionalism. Their production was bold and believable, and certainly earned its respect.

by Michelle Huey of Walt Whitman High School

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