Tonight, we took Chris’s parents to see Arthur Miller’s play The Price on Broadway. Since Obama and his daughter went to see it months ago, the ticket prices have skyrocketed, but we got these tickets for Chris’s parents as a late birthday gift for his mom. The show didn’t disappoint either from a performance standpoint or a cast standpoint; Mark Ruffalo and Danny DeVito star in it, and their performances were extremely strong and convincing.
Arthur Miller has a special place in my heart as a playwright, as two of my favorite plays I studied, read, and watched in high school are by him. Death of a Salesman was his play that resonated the most with me, as so many of the family delusions and quest for the American dream painfully reminded me of my own family at a vulnerable and self-seeking time in my life. The Crucible, a favorite among many as a reminder of the Salem witch trials of the 17th century, spoke to me in how it brings up the theme of perception and reputation. What truly creates the reputations that we may be proud (or not) of, the name that we seek to have and have remembered about us regardless of whether we are living or have passed, and in general, what is our “place” in society?
In conjuring all these themes, Miller oftentimes uses family dysfunction as the mechanism to make us think about these tough questions. So I suppose if you think about constantly seeing family dysfunction on stage, you’d understand why I like him so much. It’s like he’s speaking directly to me about all the familial insanities that are possible.