All My Sons at Port CityBy Laura & Mike Clark • Nov 17th, 2006 • Category: Reviews
Listen to our review of Port City Playhouse’s production of All My Sons [MP3 4:13 1.2MB].
Mike: All My Sons is a play written by Arthur Miller. It tells the story of Joe Keller, a defense contractor who committed perjury to conceal his involvement in the manufacture of defective aircraft parts. This lie he told carried on for years after the event.
Laura: I liked this show because I thought everybody was real. Their emotions came across as sincere. I got involved in the story. I liked how the family dealt with the son that was lost in the war.
Mike: I really liked this show. I didn’t know what to expect. There were twists and turns and it wasn’t like a suspense type show. There were lots of questions between the different relationships between each of the characters. I just really liked the tension and the angst that was between the characters. There was love between the characters, especially the Keller family. But there were lots of different connections between the characters and I really liked how it all came together at the end.
The main character was Joe Keller played by G. Smith. Joe was the father of the family who had committed perjury in a trial that took place during WW II where the factory he ran produced some bad parts for an engine in some airplanes. There were lots of deaths of pilots when their planes started falling apart. It was really interesting watching the whole family dance around him. And Joe several times got angry when they would question him or when they were disrespectful to a father. He did that really well. I really felt like he was a father and he was defending fatherhood.
Laura: And Joe Keller’s wife, Kate Keller, was played by Laura Russell. I liked her. She was very believable. The scene between her and Joe at the end when she was defending the son that was lost in the war, just the emotion and the anger and the love on her face. She didn’t want to believe that he was not coming back even though it had been three years was really realistic and I liked it very much.
Mike: And then the Keller’s son Chris was played by Hans Dettmar. I really like how he made that character come alive. Definitely I could feel that love for his brother and the love for his girlfriend, Annie, who he wanted to marry, but wasn’t sure if she would since Annie used to date his brother. I really like their scenes together with that relationship that built and grew as they were on stage together.
Laura: Chris’s girlfriend, Annie Deever was played by Jessica Lada. I could tell that when she came back that coming back to the house where Chris grew up brought back a lot of memories for her too. She was trying to come to terms with them a little bit, but she was also realizing that she had to move on and that she did love Chris. But then coming back to the house brought up a lot of memories. I liked her performance. She again seemed really real.
Mike: The set was very effective. It was the back yard of the Keller household. It was also the edge of the next door neighbor’s house where Annie grew up. There were lots of neighbors in the neighborhood. It definitely felt like a 1940’s type area. Everybody knew each other’s name. Knew their business. So I really like how the whole show came together. The acting was really good and crisp. There were a lot of emotions and it all felt very realistic.
Laura: All My Sons is playing for one more weekend, this Friday and Saturday at the Lee Center For the Performing Arts in Alexandria Virginia.
Mike: We’d also like to invite you to join our mailing list so you can stay informed whenever we post a new review or have other information to share with you about theater in the Washington DC area. Just go to ShowBizRadio.net/subscribe/.
Laura: And now, on with the show.
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Laura & Mike Clark started ShowBizRadio in August 2005 because they love live theater. They each have both performed in and worked behind the scenes in DC area productions, as well as earned a Career Studies Certificate in Theater from Northern Virginia Community College. Mike & Laura are each members of the American Theatre Critics Association, and Mike is a member of the Online News Association.