Saturday February 24th 2018

“All My Sons” reviewed by Michael Horn

Highly Recommended ***** A clap of thunder, a flash of lightning, a fallen tree; so begins the Court Theatre’s revival of Arthur Miller’s “All My Sons” and it is absolutely FABULOUS!   Arthur Miller wrote this tragedy based on a true story and it earned the Tony award for best play in 1947. It is a well-crafted tale of greed, secrets, lies and how a family is ruined. In the capable hands of Director Charles Newell, the Court production is seamless and riveting, with a remarkable cast.

 

Timothy Edward Kane plays Chris, who has returned home from the war and joined his father’s successful airplane parts business. His father, Joe, played by John Judd and his mother Kate, played by Kate Collins,  had planted the fallen tree in memory of their son Larry, an Air Force pilot, who has been missing for last three years. Kate is fervent in her belief that Larry will yet return, while Chris and Joe are pragmatic and want to concentrate on growing their business and making more money.

 

Unbeknownst to his mother, Chis has invited Annie, Larry’s old girl friend, played by Heidi Kettrering, to visit the family with the intention to propose marriage.  Her father was Joe’s partner. He was indicted, convicted, and sent to prison for intentionally shipping defective airplane parts to the Air Force.  Joe claimed to not be involved in the scandal and was cleared of any wrong doing. Annie never forgave her father for his misdeed and is intent on marrying Chris, accepting the fact that Larry was gone forever.  Kate will not hear of such a thing; Larry is returning, even the horoscope tells her so!

 

Then, Annie’s brother and Chris’s old friend George arrives, and suddenly, things become complicated for the family as the banshees of the past scream for the truth in the present.

 

 

Charles Newell is the master of weaving a great production and he builds this story powerfully.  This is a multi-layered story with a central theme that revolves around money and its ill effects. The tension increases in the second act to the point that it explodes with force of a volcano.

 

John Judd is outstanding in the role of Joe, showing us a man who is stoic yet fearful and vulnerable.  We understand that he is not perfect but also not forthcoming.

 

Timothy Edward Kane is so smooth and believable as Chris.  He easily portrays Chris’s positive attitude toward others, yet we also see his lack of self- worth and his idealistic beliefs that ultimately lead him to despair.

 

Heidi Kettenring as Annie portrays an emotionally distraught woman who is desperate to hold on to what little she has left.  She makes us feel her pain yet we always sense that there is more to her than meets the eye.

 

Kate Collins is phenomenal as Kate Keller.  Her passion, her pain, her strength, her fears all feel so real and the audience is drawn to her like a magnet. Her performance is inspiring and leaves no emotion untouched.

 

The supporting cast of neighbors, Karl Hamilton as Dr. Jim Bayliss, Bradford Ryan Lund as Frank Lubey, Johanna McKenzie Miller as Sue Bayliss, Abby Pierce as Lydia Lubey, Dan Waller as George Deever, and Gabe Korzatkowski/Charlie Herman as Bert provide strong performances.

 

The set by John Culbert is simple but effective. Keith Parham’s lighting adds ambience and sets the tone for each scene and the sound design by Andrew Pluess complements the lighting and direction. The costumes by Jacqueline Firkins are excellent and true to the period, right down to the nylons.

 

The Court Theatre has once again given the Chicago theater community a relevant and meaningful production and “All My Sons” should not be missed!

All My Sons” will run throughFebruary 11 th with performances as follows:

 

Schedule:  Wed & Thurs.:   7:30PM

                   Fridays:              8:00PM

                   Saturdays:         3:00PM & 8:00PM

                   Sundays:           2:30PM & 7:30PM     

 

Location:   Court Theatre, 5535 S. Ellis Avenue, Chicago, IL

Tickets:      $44-$74

 

Box Office: (773) 753-4472 or www.Courttheatre.org

 

FREE Parking is available in the garage next to the theater.

To see what others are saying, visit www.theatreinchicago.com, go to Review Round-Up and click at “All My Sons”.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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