The Man Who Had All the Luck, Arthur Miller's first Broadway play, will receive its first American revival in 55 years at the Ivy Substation on April 15. A co- production of New York-based Finesilver Shows and the L.A.-based The Antaeus Company, the play will be directed by Dan Fields, former resident director of Disney's Broadway blockbuster musical, The Lion King. The run is through May 21.
The Man was first produced in New York on Nov. 23, 1944. The play was panned and closed after only four performances. Three years later Miller garnered world fame when Death of a Salesman debuted on Broadway.
The Man was revived at the Bristol Old Vic in 1986. Thanks to a warm reception, the play later transferred to the Theatre Royale in London. "The London theatre allows plays to survive and even flourish in a middle range between hit and flop, the only fates available on Broadway," said Miller. "Here it has to be the Second Coming or it's nothing."
In his autobiography "Time Bends" Miller reveals that he began writing the play in 1941, when he was a student at the University of Michigan. "Through its endless versions, the play was to move me toward my first open awareness of father-son and brother-brother conflicts," he said. "It was through the evolving versions of this story that I began to find myself as a playwright, and perhaps even as a person."
The play is a lyrical fable about a young man named David Beeves who has the misfortune of getting everything his heart deserves. Everything always goes his way, while the fortunes of his friends and family rise and fall like those of ordinary people. The pressure of when he, too, might fail pushes him to the edge of sanity as he struggles with his fate. Fields discovered the script while working at the Seattle Repertory Theatre almost ten years ago, and has worked to bring it back to the stage ever since. "I didn't want to direct it before I had the right resources on hand, so that this play could be seen for the outstanding piece of theatre it is."
Dakin Matthew, managing director of Antaeus, said in a statement, "When Fields...brought us this play, we couldn't have been more excited. It fit in perfectly into our mission -- which is maintaining a trained company to perform the classics. First of all, it is a classic, and -- like many of our earlier projects -- a nearly forgotten one. It's such a style show and an ensemble show at the same time -- set in the 30s and requiring actors of all ages and types. It offers us an opportunity to put into practice the kind of double casting necessary in Los Angeles and to invite a number of talented guests to join us for the run."
Ivy Substation is located at 9070 Venice Blvd. in Culver City. For tickets and information call (818) 506-8462 or visit www.Antaeus.org