You know who didn't like this play much? Charles Isherwood of the New York Times, who reviewed both the original Chicago production at the Steppenwolf and the later Broadway version. He seemed troubled by the fact that, broadly speaking, certain of these dramatis personae have appeared in other plays and a good many television shows--the young man who wants to be an artist, the thugs who come round to collect a gambling debt, the cops who are always hanging around (it's a donut shop, get it?). That criticism just didn't register with me. This is solid writing, impervious to cliche. No one ever says, "Gawd, a traveling salesman? Couldn't he think of something more original?" about Arthur Miller's great classic. Or maybe the problem is that Isherwood didn't see this memorable production.
[Originally published in November, 2012.]