The Ride Down Mount Morgan
Reviewed by David Kashimba
Photo by Zabrina Tipton

San Francisco Playhouse opens its new season with a comedy by Arthur Miller. The Ride Down Mount Morgan is a very funny play about a man with two wives. When Lyman Felt (Victor Talmadge) gets in a car accident, both his wives show up at the hospital, neither one knowing about the other. But after some time talking in the waiting room, they begin to figure out that they’re both married to the same man.

But as the play’s director, Joy Carlin, points out: “A comedy by Arthur Miller is still a drama. It has its roots in his concerns about the dark side of the American Dream. Written in an era of extravagant self indulgence, it exposes the exhilaration of a life lived to the hilt without moral qualms or guilt. When confronted with the monumental chaos he has caused, Lyman professes his love for everyone, but ultimately his most ardent love is for himself.”

Before his wives Theo (Karen Grassle) and Leah (Nancy Carlin) meet, Lyman feels that he “was dancing the high wire of the world,” that he’d beaten guilt forever. He was a man who thought he could have it all, never giving serious thought to how his actions might hurt the very people he had professed to love the most. In a sense, his car accident was no accident. It was the world showing him his limitations, trying to teach him that: “If you try to live by your real desires, you turn into shit.”

For tickets or more information about this fine production – Arthur Miller’s last full-length play before his death last year – call (415) 677-9596 or visit www.sfplayhouse.org.

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