At the start, you see the family at their loving best, which, of course, makes what follows all the more bitter. There's ebbs and flows of tension. There's humor and caring. But in the end, if there ever was a man secure in his world who self-destructed, it was Eddie Carbone.
Carbone, the central figure, longshoreman and family patriarch in Arthur Miller’s A View from the Bridge, starts off as a happily married man who destroys his life and those of the people around him when he becomes obsessed with his wife’s 18-year-old orphaned niece, Catherine.
The tipping point comes after Eddie and his wife, Beatrice, take in Beatrice's cousins from Italy and Catherine is smitten with the one named Rodolpho. Eddie doesn't want Catherine to leave and distrusts Rodolpho's motives, thinking he only wants to marry her to gain U.S. citizenship.
While the Alley Theatre production has several company members in it, visiting actor Mark Zeisler (who was in the 1998 Broadway production that won the Tony Award for Best Revival) stars as Eddie Carbone. “It’s one of the great roles of the American stage. Certainly it’s one of the great roles with Arthur Miller. It’s a mountain that is worth climbing over and over again,” Zeisler says.
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Zeisler doesn’t see his character as all villain. “He’s understandable.There’s great empathy and great compassion for him. He has a long way to fall from the beginning of the play to the end. He’s a well-meaning man with a good heart, but he unfortunately becomes a party to forces he can’t control in himself.”
Alley Resident Company members include Jeffrey Bean as lawyer and narrator Alfieri, Josie de Guzman as Eddie's wife, Beatrice, Jay Sullivan as Rodolpho, Chris Hutchison as Louis/Immigration Officer, Todd Waite as Immigration Officer and Elizabeth Bunch in the ensemble. Frank de Julio is Marco, the family man sending money back to his wife and children in Italy, and Cara Ronzetti is Catherine.
"It's a great, great play and I think it has a lot to say to the world about the decisions we make, the choices we make about who we love," Zeisler says.
Performances are scheduled for April 28 through May 1 at 7:30 p.m. Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays and Sundays; 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays and 2:30 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays at the Alley Theatre, 615 Texas. For information, call 713-220-5700 or visit alleytheatre.org. $26-$99.