By Robert Simonson
and Kenneth Jones
09 Jan 2000
The Tony Award-winning Broadway revival of Arthur Miller's Death of a Salesman, starring Brian Dennehy and directed by Robert Falls, will reach a wider audience 8 PM Jan. 9 when a taped version appears on TV's Showtime.
Kirk Browning (PBS-Lincoln Center Twelfth Night) directs Falls' vision of the classic American tragedy, which also includes revival originals Elizabeth Franz as Linda, Ted Koch as Happy and Ron Eldard (who replaced Kevin Anderson on Broadway) as Biff. Other orginals recreate their work, as well.
"We're taking the opportunity to make a permanent record of what many consider the greatest American play, on the 50th anniversary of its premiere on Broadway," Showtime executive vice-president Mark Zakarin said.
The acclaimed revival of Miller's Death of a Salesman began life at Chicago's Goodman Theater, where Falls is artistic director, and began previews on Broadway Jan. 22, 1999, closing Nov. 7, 1999, at the the Eugene O'Neill Theatre. The staging opened Feb. 10, 1999, fifty years to the day since the original production of Salesman bowed on Broadway.
According to The New York Times, nine cameras were set up at the Eugene O'Neill to capture the play. Several performances were recorded in front of invited audiences. The Times also reported that the use of the mechanical turntables on stage were eliminated, creating a more naturalistic experience.
The play previously appeared on TV in 1966 with Lee J. Cobb and in the 1980s with Dustin Hoffman and John Malkovich.
Miller's 1967 drama, The Price, is currently enjoying a revival on Broadway, at the Royale Theatre.