Picks and Pans Review: Death of a Salesman

updated 01/01/2000 AT 01:00 AM EST

originally published 01/01/2000 AT 01:00 AM EST

Showtime (Sun., Jan. 9, 8 p.m. ET)

Brian Dennehy's Tony-winning performance as Willy Loman in the 1999 Broadway revival of Death of a Salesman reached all the way to the last row of the balcony without going over the top. It was unforgettable. When it comes to acting, however, one size does not fit all media. This Showtime special, taped in November before an audience at the Eugene O'Neill Theatre, has scenes of shattering power that explain why Arthur Miller's 1949 classic was so acclaimed in its latest staging. But on the small screen, the burly Dennehy's work sometimes seems too broad, too loud. There's less of a problem with fellow Tony winner Elizabeth Franz's characterization of Willy's long-suffering wife, Linda, partly because she conveys so much emotion through her eyes. Watch this production by all means, but remember: It was not designed with TV in mind. To an extent, you had to be there.

Bottom Line: Worthwhile trip to the theater

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