Starring Joseph Ziegler, Nancy Palk, Ari Cohen. Written by Arthur Miller. Directed by Albert Schultz. Young Centre, to Oct. 6.
No matter how many times you see Death of a Salesman, you still experience a twinge of hope when overworked salesman Willy Loman and his slacker son Biff head into town at the start of Act 2—Biff to seek a business loan and Willy to ask for a desk job so he can finally get off the road. Maybe this time, you think, everything will work out. That’s the genius of Arthur Miller’s postwar American tragedy: He makes you ache for the Lomans, that sad, self-deluding family just looking to be happy. You’ll feel that way again in Soulpepper’s fine remount of its 2010 production—thanks largely to Joseph Ziegler’s pathos-laden performance as Willy, chief architect of the Lomans’ house of lies. It won Ziegler a Dora Award the first time round, and it’s easy to see why.