Symmetry. Symmetry. Symmetry. The chaos of emotions beneath the Brooklyn Bridge competes with the undeniable logic of life. The result is an eerie symmetry at the Secret Theatre. The riveting interpretation of playwright Arthur Miller’s “A View from the Bridge” is running in Long Island City for one final weekend.
Symmetry? A painted rear wall dominates the room. It contains dozens of parallelograms converging on a huge square. They reflect downward, almost underwater. The swirlingEast Riverappears to the right and left. Rectangular skyscrapers are seen in the distance. Symmetry.
Director Ryan Lee utilizes set designer Kathryn Lieber’s mesmerizing lines and angles to literally set the stage for this intense drama. Executive Producer Richard Mazda and Associate Producer Alyssa Van Gorder combine veteran Actor’s Equity performers with talented newcomers. This mixture ultimately provides a dramatic one-two punch in which the symmetry of nature is maintained.
Symmetry? As the play begins, narrator/attorney Alfieri (Jeffrey Farber) sets the tone with unmistakable foreboding. He understands the tough Italian residents of this 1950s waterfront district. Although he is the voice of reason, he cannot stop the seething emotions that bring his closely knit neighborhood to the brink.
Brooding Eddie (Gary Hilborn) has raised his niece Catherine (Rachel McKeon) under his roof. His conflicted affection for her is a combination of religious metaphors and banal realities. In one scene, a modern “Last Supper” with Catherine, Eddie and his long suffering wife Beatrice (Rachel Errington) unfolds. As in Da Vinci’s painting, the lines converge perfectly on the main character. In this living canvas, who’ll betray who?
Symmetry? Upsetting the precarious balance in Eddie’s home are cousins Rodolpho (Lorenzo Landini) and Marco (Joe Diomede). They’ve entered theU.S.illegally fromEuropeand seek safe haven in Eddie’s small apartment. Rodolpho’s love for Catherine and Marco’s stoic old world machismo will destroy the already fragile emotional balance. Something significant, something violent is the only way to cope with the harsh, unforgiving realities of life–no matter how uneasy the resulting peace. Symmetry. Yes, symmetry.
The Secret Theatre is located at 44-02 23rd Street in Long Island City. Call (718) 392-0722 or surf to www.secrettheatre.com. Some Shakespeare, some music and more drama will follow the current production in the weeks ahead. As always, save me a seat on the aisle.