“Death of a Salesman” at Yellow Tree Theatre

Willy Loman still has the blues in this American classic

Osseo’s Yellow Tree Theatre is staging a production of Arthur Miller’s 1949 classic, Death of a Salesman, directed by Ivey-winner Craig Johnson and starring Patrick Coyle in the role of Willy Loman, the iconic working stiff full of illusions and bottomless sadness. Yellow Tree has planted a firm stake in the Twin Cities theater scene with well-chosen slates of plays, an ability to lure top talent, and a welcoming, cozy environment in which the actors are literally mere feet away from the audience.

Coyle is joined by Laura Esping as Willy’s wife Linda, who remains loyal to her husband despite his occasional bouts of temper and a gnawing sense that he’s going off the rails. Salesman is a play that changes with every viewing as one ages, with Willy’s plight an amazing symbol for dashed hopes, futility, and the need to keep their opposites in one’s heart. It’s crackling with piercing dialogue and rich characters who circle, twist, and descend in one of the great works that combines allegory with realism in a way that mirrors the feel of the previous century.

Death of a Salesman
Yellow Tree Theatre
through October 16