An all-Black cast production of Death of a Salesman arrives at South Coast Rep’s 50th anniversary celebration starring Charlie Robinson from August Wilson’s Fences and asking questions about class and especially race. Forty-five years ago, when SCR last presented Arthur Miller’s psycho-polemical biography of Willy Loman, this casting would’ve been a different kind of novelty or political statement, or, more likely, not happened at all. In the classic drama, audiences can choose to see the play, and our nation, as half-full or half-empty, as an archaic critique of a disappearing middle class or urgent critique of the failed goal of racial justice. Or perhaps see a future for all-Latino, all-Chinese, all-Filipino versions. SCR’s offering of this all-American classic is that kind of revival—and this play responds well to reviving.
Tuesdays-Sundays. Starts: Aug. 30. Continues through Sept. 29, 2013