As an indictment of capitalism, or business, or America, Death of a Salesman (at the Hudson Theatre through January 15) still fails; attention need not be paid to Arthur Miller’s feeble swipes at how an honorable man has supposedly been left to wither in the cold by the rapacious pursuit of profit. At sixty-three, Loman will shortly qualify for Social Security; moreover, he has a lot of equity in his Brooklyn house, which is one month away from being fully paid off, and has a standing job offer on the table.

Looking at Salesman through middle-aged eyes for the first time, I can appreciate Miller’s fine sense of tortured family mechanics. Today a metonym for mediocrity, Willy Loman (a bluff Wendell Pierce) illustrates how...


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