center stage
Taking a 'Ride' not often taken

by Mark Lowry
Star-Telegram Staff Writer

Since 1998, there have been six Arthur Miller plays on Broadway: A View From the Bridge, 1998; Death of a Salesman, 1999; The Price and The Ride Down Mt. Morgan in 2000; and The Crucible and The Man Who Had All the Luck in 2002.

But regionally, the legendary playwright's works aren't produced very often, save for an occasional Death of a Salesman or The Crucible.

"He's so intelligent and so deep sometimes that I don't think people always get him," says Carol M. Rice, co-founder of Rover Dramawerks, which has a mission to stage rarely produced plays by established playwrights. It opens The Ride Down Mt. Morgan this week.

Although Ride opened on Broadway in 2000, with Patrick Stewart as its star, the play actually premiered in London in 1991. Because it had not been on Broadway before, the 2000 staging earned a Tony nomination for Best New Play.

The story concerns Lyman, a man who wakes up in the hospital after being injured in a car wreck only to find both of his wives at his side. Leah is his younger wife, and Theodora is the woman he married 32 years prior, but had not divorced. As Lyman's honesty with others and himself is challenged, the stage for soul-searching is set.

"I think [Miller] is kind of daunting," Rice says, "but this play is a little different. It's actually sort of a comedy, and that's unusual for him."

- Mark Lowry