My vote for the coziest place in St. Louis is the West End Grill and Pub, followed by theater next door if the St. Louis Actor’s Studio is playing, as it was tonight in the show that just opened, The ride down Mt. Morgan, by Arthur Miller.
What if two women, their children and their husbands live happy and affluent lives? OK, they may be shallow now and then. There may be doubts, but contented, even happy are their lives. If this goes on for nearly a decade with no problem, why should it matter that they find out they are actually married to the same guy, someone who just can’t make up his mind except to realize he wants both. Do we agree with the protagonist that nothing should change with the knowledge? Are the women shrill to care that they share? How about their kids? Where does the shiver of death come from? Who needs a lawyer?
These are the issues Arthur Miller addresses in this 1991 play, expertly performed by the St. Louis Actor’s Studio at the Gaslight. It fits perfectly with this season’s theme, Sins of the Father. The acting was excellent, the set sublimely minimal, the audience packed. It could not have been better. If there were flaws, I would lay them on Arthur Miller. It felt a tad repetitive. The women could have had more nuanced and even cynical reactions. But it was a play that made you think a bit, perhaps about honesty, indecision, what is right and what is not. My favorite character was the elderly Canadian nurse who said she took delight ice fishing with her husband and her son while they discussed their new shoes, or so she told her patient.
Oh, and the chick pea soup and trout were delicious. Dave got the famous steak sandwich, also wonderful.