Maybe as something of an antidote to the sensationalism of the Beat Generation (in my post yesterday) is the social consciousness and backlash to the McCarthy Red Scare era that also enveloped America in the 1950's. Championed by the likes of Playwright Arthur Miller, (who himself was lambasted in the mainstream media as a Pinko and, for a while, Mr. Marilyn Monroe) Clifford Odets and many others of the neo-realist school, who helped take the Theater from a place of breezy entertainment to a forum on the human condition.
A View From The Bridge began life as a one-act verse drama in 1955 and was later reworked into a two-act play in 1956. It's a compelling mixture of fear, false pride and revenge taking it's nod from the Italian neo-realist Opera that gave the landmark Cavalleria Rusticana while mixing with the Immigration issues (and Red Scare) prevalent during the McCarthy era, and ironically prevalent today.
For a complete breakdown of the Play check out some of the sites associated with it. It's seen numerous revivals over the years, primarily because the message hasn't aged and with most social consciousness issues, hasn't changed all that much over the years.
This recording, sadly deleted from Mercury Records' catalog way too long ago, features the original revival cast as it was presented off-Broadway at the Sheridan Square Playhouse in 1964-1965. That revival garnered Obie Awards for it's star Robert Duvall and its director Ulu Grossbard.
The cast goes as follows (in order of appearance):
Louis - Richard Castellano
Mike - Carmine Cardi
Alfieri - Mitchell Jason
Eddie - Robert Duvall
Catherine - Linda Eskenas
Beatrice - Jeanne Kaplan
Marco - Ramon Bieri
Tony - Gino Morra
Rodolpho - Jon Voight
First Immigration Officer - Dan Priest
Second Immigration Officer - Curt Dempster
Directed by: Ulu Grossbard
Assistant Director : Dustin Hoffman
Act I - top player
Act II - bottom player
Enjoy and let me know what you think.