Monday, August 31, 2015

Review of The Price at TimeLine Theatre Company

Once upon a time I went to a show and it was called The Price. It was written by Arthur Miller and it was directed by Louis Contey. It was about Victor (Bret Tuomi) who was a policeman and was selling all the furniture that their family had had when they were rich. They aren't rich anymore because of the Great Depression and the stock market failing. But his brother Walter (Roderick Peeples) had become really successful but wouldn't loan him money for a science degree so he had to become a policeman. But Victor and his dad and his wife Esther (Kymberly Mellen) still had to eat out of the garbage sometimes. Walter is trying to find a way that he can be friends with his brother again and Victor is trying to get some money so that his wife can be happy. But the thing is that over time you find out more about what has happened in the past and that changes the way you feel about all these characters. A man Gregory Solomon (Mike Nussbaum) comes and thinks that he wants to buy all the things in the house. And he teaches Victor more about life and what it is like to be an older man. I thought this was a really good show overall. There was very strong acting and I enjoyed it. This is not really a story that is aimed at kids my age because it is all about the problems of going into your middle ages, but I'm going to show you a kid's perspective of this.

There was a plot in this, but there was no part of it that really changed too drastically. So sometimes you felt like you were seeing something pretty similar to what you had just seen because the changes were so small. But there were some bigger changes like Victor's relationship with Esther. This is the kind of story where a lot of decisions have to get made and most of the time people are arguing about those decisions. And in real life you have to stay on the topic to make your point. And that is what is happening here as well. The characters are staying on the same topic for a decent amount of time to make their point. There isn't a lot of physical action in this play, but there is a lot of verbal action and that makes it suspenseful.

It is called The Price because there is a price of all the furniture that has to be decided. It is also about the price of family and helping your family. It is about that price too. Sometimes something is worth more than the price is or is worth less than the price is. All of the characters are asking questions about the price and the worth of everything they have done and the furniture as well. They are also complaining about how expensive the movies are, like $2.30, which now we are like "I wish movies were like that now--we could see a movie an hour" because this entire time Victor and Esther are trying to go see a movie. It shows you that Victor is still not making a lot of money. What they think the price of the furniture should be varies over time because the people who are richer or want a lot of money think it is worth more. I think the brother was kind of right on this point even though he usually isn't. The furniture is not only worth money. The things that are there are from their childhood and some of the things there are priceless, but only to them. But they sell it anyway. Victor does keep something that means something to him, but Walter doesn't which shows you that he cares less.

I thought Mike Nussbaum did a great job of making his role energetic and funny but then also have those kind of learning moments where you would just listen to him and think, "Wow, that is very philosophical and that makes sense." One of the moments I really liked of his was when he was talking about all the wives he'd had and he realized he'd forgotten about one of them. I found that kind of mean, but it was still very very funny. It is philosophical because he is saying what life will become like when Victor is his age: everything starts to get slow and you start to think of all the things that you want to do and you haven't and some of your memories start to fade. The orange and Hershey's bar moment was hilarious because what happened was he asked for the Hershey's bar out of his bag and then Walter got an orange out of the bag. And Mr. Solomon says, "No! The Hershey's!" Walter gets out the Hershey's and Mr. Solomon says something along the lines of, "It's like penicillin" and I just found that so funny. Chocolate does make you feel better, but it can also make you chubbier. Nussbaum plays the comic relief but he is also a teacher and a guide. But then you feel less certain that Mr. Solomon is actually a good person at the end of the play. I feel like he is still a good person because he doesn't force anything and lets everyone choose. It was such a great performance and I was captivated whenever he was on stage.

People who would like this show are people who like verbal action, dramatic families, and Hershey's bars. I think that people should definitely go see this show because it was a very engaging play and I very much enjoyed it, especially when I had a chance to think more about it after.

Photos: Lara Goetsch

1 comment:

Cash Tilton said...

This is exceptionally perceptive. I was probably 35 years old before I "got" Arthur Miller. (I'm from the South, I had to live in New York for a while before it all made sense.) Except for "The Crucible"--"The Crucible" is the Arthur Miller play for people who don't like Arthyr Miller, like "A Tale of Two Cities" is Dickens for people who don't like Dickens.