Arthur Miller’s All My Sons opened on Broadway in 1947 and it is immediately evident watching the production 60+ years later that the writing has a very dated 1940′s style like watching an old film. And like old movies, some are classic and their entertainment value never diminishes with time. Such is the case with All My Sons where the richness and complexity of the characters and the story have a quality that while seems a bit “old,” especially since it is set after WWII, will always be entertaining and engaging. The Matrix Theatre has added a new twist that actually gives it a new found freshness, the multi-ethnic cast. At first it is perhaps confusing, but that quickly gives way to the beauty of what stage productions in general are all about, namely their simplicity as compared to film that allows the viewer to access more of the imagination and feel part of a world.
A character driven production like All My Sons succeeds or fails on the strength of its cast and Anne Gee Byrd (Kate Keller) and Alex Morris (Joe Kellar) provide the foundation for the production and they both give stellar, let me repeat STELLAR performances. Anne’s performance in particular was the highlight as she is able to convey the nuances of the character so perfectly it’s hard to take your eyes off her…amazing. Anne and Alex have a strong supporting cast especially Linda Park (Ann Deever), A.K. Murtadha (Chris Keller) and Anita Barone (Sue Bayliss). Last night the part of George Deever was played by understudy Feodor Chin and it was incredible to see him fit in so perfectly with an already seasoned cast (shows started Oct. 13th) which is no easy task especially surrounded by such great actors.
Cameron Watson’s direction is spot-on and kudos to John Iacovelli’s magical set design and Brian Gale’s use of lighting to create a beautiful stage and a setting that gives the feeling of having stepped back in time. All My Sons continues its run through December 18th. For more information and to purchase tickets visit their website: Matrix Theatre Company