Broadway's Death of a Salesman, currently running at the Hudson Theatre, received a special guest this week as friends of the Library of Congress, including Librarian of Congress Dr. Carla Hayden, visited the Arthur Miller revival.
Dr. Hayden, the first African American and first woman to hold the role, toured the Hudson and sat with production stars Wendell Pierce and Sharon D Clarke in the theatre's Ambassador Lounge before seeing the production, which reimagines the Pulitzer-winning play to center around a Black family.
Producer Cindy Tolan also presented Dr. Hayden with a first edition of Salesman in Beijing, the playwright's memoir recounting directing the work's first Chinese production, to be bestowed to the Library of Congress.
"Death of a Salesman is an important part of American theatre history, and this production continues its significance with a new interpretation," says Dr. Hayden in a statement. "It was an honor to interview Wendell Pierce and Sharon D Clarke who provided insights into their portrayal of iconic characters Willy and Linda Loman."
The production, which began in London's West End, opened at Broadway's Hudson Theatre October 9 after beginning performances September 17. Pierce and Tony nominee Clarke reprise their West End roles of Willy and Linda Loman (respectively), which earned Pierce an Olivier nomination and Clarke an Olivier win. Read reviews for the Broadway bow here.
Miranda Cromwell directs the work, which follows a traveling salesman and his family who are caught up in the madness of the all-too-often unreachable "American Dream." The work debuted on Broadway in 1949 and won six Tony Awards for its premiere run.
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Joining Pierce and Clarke in the cast are Khris Davis as Biff, McKinley Belcher III as Happy, and Tony winner André De Shields as Ben, with Blake DeLong as Howard/Stanley, Lynn Hawley as The Woman/Jenny, Grace Porter as Letta/Jazz Singer, Kevin Ramessar as Musician, Stephen Stocking as Bernard, Chelsea Lee Williams as Miss Forsythe, and Delaney Williams as Charley. Melvin Abston, Jerome Preston Bates, Brandon E. Burton, Maya Jackson, Lisa Strum, Chris Thorn, and Shona Tucker serve as understudies.
The creative team includes Olivier-winning and Tony-nominated scenic and co-costume designer Anna Fleischle, co-costume designer Sarita Fellows, Tony-nominated lighting designer Jen Schriever, Tony-nominated sound designer Mikaal Sulaiman, composer Femi Temowo, hair designer Nikiya Mathis, and music coordinator John Miller. Casting is by Erica A. Hart and Daniel Swee.
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The producing team is led by Cindy Tolan, Elliott & Harper Productions, and Kwame Kwei-Armah.