By Thom Geier
Updated January 25, 2010 at 05:00 AM EST
Joan Marcus

Liev Schreiber is a slender fellow, but he has a longshoreman’s bearing in the solid new Broadway revival of Arthur Miller’s A View From the Bridge. As Eddie Carbone, the blue-collar Brooklynite with a too-strong attachment to his 17-year-old niece, Catherine, he seems to carry the very weight of the world on his thin, hunched shoulders.

The story, under the skilled direction of Gregory Mosher, has all the elements of Greek tragedy — including a one-man chorus in the form of a local lawyer (a fine Michael Cristofer) who narrates the unfortunate trajectory of the action. Of course, Eddie himself is too blinkered to recognize how Catherine’s budding first romance with newly arrived immigrant Rodolpho (Morgan Spector) has driven him to jealous distraction.

As Catherine, Scarlett Johansson doesn’t look 17 (her stage wig does her no favors in trying to make her appear younger) and struggles a bit on what to do with her hands, but otherwise acquits herself well in her Broadway debut. Jessica Hecht (seen last fall in another Brooklyn-set drama, Brighton Beach Memoirs) touchingly reveals the predicament of Eddie’s beleaguered wife, Beatrice. The three strike a genuine familial rapport, and the rest of the cast hit their marks on John Lee Beatty’s evocative revolving set, which suggests a Greek temple as well as brownstone Brooklyn.

But this production pivots on Schreiber, as it must, and he’s more than up to the task. The stage veteran effectively conveys Eddie’s inner torment, feelings so deep he seems incapable of articulating them with mere words, let alone of overcoming them. B+

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