Some big names showed up last night in New York for the opening performance of Death Of A Salesman. Garfield’s biggest fan, Emma Stone, was also in attendance. I’m told she’s been in attendance through previews, in the audience several times. Many of you too have written to say that you saw the play in previews and you were unanimous in your praise, particularly for Philip Seymour Hoffman. The critics agree, declaring that Hoffman delivers a magnificent Willy Loman. They are quite complimentary too of Andrew Garfield’s Biff.

I find Death Of A Salesman really, really hard to sit though. Not because it isn’t great, because obviously it’s great. But because it’s so uncomfortable, too…close. And real. Nothing is more real than disappointment. Disappointment is worse than regret. Some people can find redemption in regret; some people believe that regret can teach you, that regret can, eventually, inspire improvement.

Disappointment is something else. Disappointment can’t be cured. Disappointment just kills you slowly. When you imagine that happening to your own father, if your own father has been, at times, profoundly disappointed by his own life, like I said, it’s too close and it’s too real. And it’s very personal and also very universal. This is why Death of Salesman is considered an American masterpiece. An enduring work resonates in its own unique way with so many people.  

And you can see it all over Garfield’s face.

Here’s the cast at curtain call last night. Garfield could not contain his emotion. If you’re familiar with Arthur Miller’s play, it’s kinda hard not to look at these photos, remember the story, and get a little choked up yourself. Or…is it just me?

I hadn’t planned on it until later this year but a trip to New York might have to happen before June when the limited run ends.