Arthur Miller summoned demons from every corner of his psyche when he wrote this complex, cerebral, highly personal drama. Rooted in events of the mid20th century, it transpires in the tormented mind of twice-divorced lawyer Quentin (Brian Robert Harris). Now on the cusp of a promising new romance, Quentin wrestles not merely with the recollections of two tempestuous marriages but with the specter of the HUAC witch hunts, which drove a friend to suicide, and with an even more ghoulish doppelganger, the Nazi Holocaust. He's haunted by his family, ex-wives and betrayed friends, and nagging questions reverberate: Is he capable of love? Of self-sacrifice? Of murder? Difficult and intense, the play's potency leans heavily, albeit not entirely, on the pivotal performer. Harris brings skill to this demanding role, but his relatively youthful appearance and American Midwest demeanor work against him. Mary Carrig is spot on as Quentin's unappeasably resentful first wife, and Jennefer Ludwigsen captures the vulnerable essence of his sex-kittenish, irreparably wounded second (widely perceived to be based on Marilyn Monroe). Patrick Hancock drives home the predicament of his desperate blacklisted friend. Director Rozsa Horvath has mounted a commendably handsome production. Elephant Stages, Lillian Theatre, 6322 Santa Monica Blvd., Hlywd.; Thurs.-Sat., 8 p.m.; Sun. 3 p.m.; through April 29. (323) 960-4443, plays411.com/afterthefall.
Thursdays-Saturdays, 8 p.m.; Sundays, 3 p.m. Starts: March 10. Continues through April 1, 2012