I had never seen Arthur Miler's A View from the Bridge before, so I took advantage of the Off Broadway West Theatre Company's production to become acquainted with it Friday night. The small theater is in the same building as Ruby Skye, & one hears the thumping dance club music on the way in & out. There were around 30 people in attendance, many apparently friends of the actors, & we filled more than half the seats. At 8:10pm there was no sign of the show starting any time soon, & I began to wonder if I had gotten the start time wrong. Finally a woman announced that we were waiting for a few more people who had been delayed by the Critical Mass ride.
The production is modest & has many good actors. I especially liked Sandy Rouge's authentic-sounding Beatrice. There is an odd disparity of accents & ethnic types represented by the cast, either by design or accident; I was never sure. Somehow an identifiably Irish character was added to the mix, Eddie Carbone is played by an African American actor, & young Rodolfo's accent sounds Russian, not Italian.
On my way out of the theater, one of the staff at the door made sure I was on their e-mail list. Perhaps I was the only person in the audience she did not recognize. She turned out to be the company's publicist, as well as an actor in their previous production of Streetcar Named Desire (Blanche, perhaps?). I asked her about the repertoire, & she said they try to pick plays that audiences want to see. I asked her how they knew what people wanted to see. She said they guessed.
Still curious about the play, I then went to the drama section of Borders Books. There I ran into a fellow audience member, & we nearly got into a fight over what seemed to be the last copy of the play in stock. Fortunately we found more copies, & she turned out to be a very nice woman who is studying at the Jean Shelton Studio & is a friend of one of the actors.