Sharon D Clarke Shines in ‘Death of a Salesman’ on Broadway

Joan Marcus

Willy Loman should be the focus of Death of a Salesman. It is his flailing death spiral that forms the narrative heart of Arthur Miller’s legendary play. But in the latest Broadway revival, starring The Wire and Treme star Wendell Pierce as Willy, which opens tonight (Hudson Theatre, through January 15, 2023)—with the Lomans played by an all-Black lead cast—the production’s anchor is Willy’s wife Linda, played by the simply stupendous Sharon D Clarke.

Clarke, Tony-nominated this year for Caroline, or Change, gives an intensely moving, beautifully executed performance. The play remains set in the Brooklyn and New York of 1949, and Boston many years before, and while not a word of the play has changed we now see its desperation—of what a family struggling to aspire and succeed, and also trying desperately to stave off failure and disaster—can also be viewed through the prism of race and racism, unseen and unspoken forces accentuating every positive the family grasps for and every negative that may sink them.

The production is directed by Miranda Cromwell, who won an Olivier Award alongside co-director Marianne Elliott for the West End and Young Vic productions, where this Broadway production originated. (Pierce and Clarke are reprising their London roles; he was Oliver Award-nominated; she won the Olivier and a Critics’ Circle award.)

Read more at The Daily Beast.

Source: Sharon D Clarke Shines in ‘Death of a Salesman’ on Broadway

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