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'All My Sons' review: Tracy Letts and Annette Bening lead a rich revival of Miller classic

Terrific acting and fine production values make for an impressive, rounded show. 

From left: Benjamin Walker, Tracy Letts, Annette Bening

From left: Benjamin Walker, Tracy Letts, Annette Bening and Hampton Fluker in Arthur Miller's "All My Sons."  Photo Credit: Joan Marcus

'All My Sons' runs through June 23 at the American Airlines Theatre. 227 W. 42nd St., roundabouttheatre.org.

“All My Sons,” Arthur Miller’s 1947 morality drama of conscience versus cowardice, is the kind of play that always feels relevant to some extent, given its hard-hitting exploration of corruption, sacrifice and citizenship, all within the context of a single family home and business.

But in the current highly charged news cycle, with constant accusations of corporate and governmental misdeeds and inhumanity, “All My Sons” feels especially timely, adding tremendously to the dramatic power of the Roundabout Theatre Company’s straightforward but sharp and well-acted Broadway revival of the play, led by Annette Bening, Tracy Letts and Benjamin Walker.

Miller’s first major work (which would soon be followed by “Death of a Salesman,” “A View From the Bridge” and “The Crucible”), the three-act play is set in the backyard of the home of Joe Keller (Letts) and Kate Keller (Bening), whose family was deeply scarred by World War II. Their son Larry went missing during battle, and Joe was accused of knowingly selling defective airplane parts to the military, leading to the deaths of 21 pilots.

Joe and Kate’s fragile calm is shattered when their other son, Chris (Walker), brings home his brother’s fiancee, Ann (Francesca Carpanini), whom Chris now intends to marry himself — even though Kate refuses to believe that Larry died. A visit from Ann's brother, George (Hampton Fluker, in his Broadway debut) adds to the explosive atmosphere. 

Directed by three-time Tony winner Jack O’Brien ("Hairspray," "Henry IV," "The Coast of Utopia"), this revival gets to the heart of Miller’s writing and brings out increasingly intense and layered performances, making for highly compelling and confrontational theater. Period costumes, an extensive exterior set design and video projections between scenes further enrich a fine production.

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