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A View from the Bridge: Press reviews

Scarlett Johansson, Liev Schreiber, Jessica Hecht and Michael Cristofer star in A View From The Bridge
Scarlett Johansson stars with Liev Schreiber, Jessica Hecht and Michael Cristofer

Hollywood actress Scarlett Johansson has made her Broadway debut in a revival of Arthur Miller's A View from the Bridge.

She received glowing reviews from critics for her role as 17-year-old orphan Catherine, who lives in 1950s Brooklyn with her aunt and uncle.

The play, which also stars Liev Schreiber and Jessica Hecht, runs at the Cort Theatre until 4 April.


In recent years Broadway's stages have been littered with dim performances from bright screen stars, including Julia Roberts and Katie Holmes. Film actresses as famous as Scarlett Johansson tend to create their own discomfort zones onstage, defined by the mixed expectations of fans and skeptics. I was definitely aware of that zone when I saw Keira Knightley in The Misanthrope in London recently.

By comparison, Ms Johansson melts into her character so thoroughly that her nimbus of celebrity disappears. Her Catherine is a girl on the cusp of womanhood, feeling her way down familiar paths that have suddenly been shrouded in unfamiliar shadows.


The surprising achievement belongs to [Scarlett] Johansson, who proves to be capable of far more than collaborating in eyebrow-raising star casting. She's got the broad vowels and engaging innocence for Catherine, and she makes you believe in the teenager's flickering awareness of Eddie's inappropriate attraction. And even after Catherine's allegiance shifts to Rodolpho, the actress allows you to appreciate fully the pull she still feels toward Eddie, how, perhaps, that might have deepened Eddie's confusion.


A new revival of A View From the Bridge features what could be this season's most inspired piece of movie-star casting - though you may not immediately recognize the star.

While the ingenue in this production is certainly a beauty, her sweetly awkward air and thick Brooklyn accent hardly evoke a screen goddess. But she is, in fact, Scarlett Johansson - in a brunette wig - making an enchanting Broadway debut in Arthur Miller's sobering fable.

Johansson disappears so completely into the role of Catherine, the plucky but naïve niece of a longshoreman, that you won't stop to consider the qualities that make her distinctly suited to the part. Only afterward will you likely realize the actress's youthful sensuality and capacity for good-natured goofiness constitute a perfect fit for this sheltered 17-year-old struggling to come to terms with her effect on men - her uncle, in particular.


Scarlett Johansson makes an assured and quite convincing stage debut opposite Liev Schreiber in the Broadway revival of Arthur Miller's A View from the Bridge.

Johansson, looking less cosmeticised than she does onscreen, fits the bill well enough as an otherwise ordinary but appealingly young girl and comes across sincere and believable. Schreiber brings his considerable skill to conveying outward stolidity and uncomprehended inner turmoil, the dumb animal sliding into a wild one.


Scarlett Johansson, sporting a convincing Brooklyn accent, is touching as the young girl blossoming into womanhood. Although like most stage tyros she needs to do more work in terms of projection and stage presence, she more than holds her own opposite her dynamic co-star, which is saying something indeed.

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