The Price

You’ll be shocked about what I got out of this performance.

By Andrew Andrews

Janet E. Nurre as Esther and Jeffery Battersby as Victor in County Players’ production of Arthur Miller’s The Price. Original photos by Louisa Vilardi.

It’s time for NYPD sergeant Victor Franz to sell off his deceased parents’ furniture and other effects, but his estranged brother Walter won’t show up to approve the deal with the appraiser.

Walter, a successful doctor, hasn’t been answering Victor’s calls for more than a decade.

The riff has something to do with Vic’s giving up a high-paying career of his own to support his parents after the great depression took his father’s fortune, but the details aren’t disclosed in the conversation between Vic and his resentful wife Esther.

After the antiques dealer, Mr. Solomon, finally stops stalling and makes an offer, Walter magically appears to resolve the brothers’ dispute, and throws a wrench into the deal.

The cast and crew (L-R): Marc Schroeder, Michael J. Frohnhoefer (Walter), Rosemary Evaul, James Steinmeyer, Scott Woolley, Douglas Woolley (Solomon), Janet E. Nurre (Esther), Steve Stefanchik, Beth Zambito and Jeffery Battersby (Victor).

Having enjoyed The Price on Broadway in 2017 with the all-star cast of Mark Ruffalo, Tony Shalhoub, Jessica Hecht and Danny DeVito, I’ve been looking forward to this production at the Falls Theatre and its much lower price tag.

Granted, I wasn’t expecting a performance of the same caliber from a community theatre, but I nonetheless found this production surprisingly impressive.

Despite the lack of famous faces on the neighborhood stage, the actors are all perfectly suited to their roles and deliver them with expertise.

Although it might seem effortless to design a set from used furniture by throwing together picks from the local thrift store, the selection and arrangement confirmed a certain eye for aesthetics, and the costumes were equally spot-on.

Arthur Miller’s script is complicated, at times dragging out arguments that could be wrapped up more succinctly. In real life, of course, antagonists rarely make a quick case and move on, and this cast never lost their momentum or showed signs of wearing down.

The Price changed my idea of what to expect from the County Players going forward; here’s hoping their next production will clear the new bar!

4

Andrew Andrews attended The Price at Falls Theatre in Wappingers Falls on Saturday, November 6, 2021 @ 8:00pm to write this review.