A View From the Bridge Dramaturgy

by Christa Tandana

Did you ever imagine Scarlett Johansson on Broadway? Well, she is now, starring in A View from the Bridge alongside Liev Schreiber.

Enter the world of Eddie Carbone (Schreiber), a longshoreman who lives with his wife, Beatrice, and his orphaned niece, Catherine (Johansson), in an Italian American neighborhood in Red Hook, Brooklyn in the mid-1950's.

The 1950's were the age of McCarthyism. Citizens were scared of being considered a communist, coming into the country was extremely difficult and immigration laws and procedures were harsh and tightly enforced.

Arthur Miller, the playwright of A View from the Bridge, grew up in Brooklyn and had a particular fascination with the community of longshoremen in Red Hook. Before he wrote A View from the Bridge, Miller wrote a screenplay in 1950 called “The Hook”. The film was supposed to be about corruption on the docks and was never produced because Miller refused to change the villains from corrupt union officials to communists to give it a more “pro-American” feel.

A View from the Bridge was then introduced in 1955 as a one act play on Broadway. Since then, it has been made into a movie and performed as an opera.

The last Broadway production was done in 1997 and starred Anthony LaPaglia, Allison Janney, and the late Brittany Murphy. It won several awards including a Tony for Best Revival of a Play and Best Leading Actor in a Play for LaPaglia.

Arthur Miller has written such famous plays as All My Sons and Death of a Salesman. A View from the Bridge may not be his most famous play and one might ask why there is any need for another revival, but with a new cast and new director, this might just be a new way at looking at this kitchen-sink drama!