THE STORY: As outlined in Variety: "…the conflict, the basic jealousy and the lifetime of, if not hatred, at least corrosive, though unacknowledged anger, is between two brothers, as well as resentment against a selfish, child-devouring father. The siblings meet, after a sixteen-year estrangement, in the attic of the family residence, where the old furniture is to be disposed of. The first is a policeman who sacrificed his education and probably a career as a scientist to care for his ruined, invalid father. The other, who arrives late, is an eminent surgeon who walked out on the demands of family to concentrate on medicine and personal success. Miller works up to the showdown scene slowly. The policeman and his wife first talk of the past and present to fill in some of the background. Then there is a very long, richly amusing, curiously revealing and enjoyable scene between the officer and a marvelously crotchety, humorous and wise old Jewish dealer who has come to buy the furniture but refuses to set a price without prolonged philosophic conversation. When the surgeon arrives, the brothers take a little time for amenities and feeling each other out before the basis of their long alienation and mutual bitterness emerges into short, blunt, enraged accusations. It is a taut, exciting and superbly theatrical scene, and it reveals the characters, including strengths and weaknesses, of the brothers to each other and themselves—as well as to the audience."
The brilliant, powerful and deeply moving play that marked the author's triumphant return to Broadway. The play examines with compassion, humor and rare insight, the relationship of two long-estranged brothers who meet after many years to dispose of their late father's belongings. "…one of the most engrossing and entertaining plays that Miller has ever written. It is superbly, even flamboyantly theatrical…" —NY Times. "…a challenging, gripping and moving drama." —Variety. "…his finest drama since The Crucible…" —NY Newsday.