By Darren Miller
This past weekend All An Act Theatre opened it’s gripping and talent rich rendition of Arthur Miller’s classic production of “All My Sons” to a very warm and receptive crowd.
Directed by Larry Lewis, “All My Sons” is based on a true story of a woman who turned her father in for supplying defective aircraft parts destined for the U.S. Military.
“All My Sons” is an intense play about how we deal with those who we love or greatly admire when they let us down. Thought provoking and spellbinding, the play questions if our expectations are too high, or should people live up to the standard that others set for them? Arthur Miller does not give us the answer, but there are moments in this drama that get us pretty close.
The production’s core of principal performers stunningly anchored the play which offered balanced dramatic realism that created riveting moments of intensity without falling into melodrama.
As with many of Miller’s plays, “All My Sons” deals with a father and son relationship that can never meet the burden of expectation that both father and son have put upon each other. In this way it arguably resembles “Death of a Salesman”.
“All My Sons” is an intricately designed story that unravels itself in such a dramatic fashion that you can’t help but want to know what happens next. It is a great American play that begs the question, “What would you do to protect your family?”
Brilliantly directed and featuring a cast loaded with amazing acting skills, “All My Sons” stars Larry Lewis, Allison Mitchell, J. D. Mizikowski, Dave DiCola, Ray Steinbacher, Cindy Willis, Jennifer Maloney, Aimee Kast, Wayne Gardner, and Jake Zimmerman.
Offering a spectacular presentation as Joe Keller, Larry Lewis delivers a performance that takes the audience on a complex rollercoaster ride of emotions that ranges from misery to flippancy, and from loathing to a very sympathetic understanding of his character.
D. Mizikowski offered a wonderful performance as Chris, Joe Kelly’s strong, yet sometimes volatile Son, who’s honest, powerful, and incredible delivery all blended together to create what is perhaps one of the best theatrical performances I have ever seen in Erie.
Aimee Kast as Ann is absolutely breathtaking to watch as she glides through her role with spot-on timing, charisma, and a real likeability that draws the audience in, and holds you tight throughout her entire performance.
With marvelous performances by every single cast member, “All My Sons” was an emotional, yet compelling experience throughout the play, as I started feeling, suffering, and empathizing with each of the characters.
In this highly suspenseful and fast-moving play the very different personalities of every single character came shining clearly through and it was quite easy to become awestruck with the power and passion of each performance. Right from the start I began wondering how the play could come to an end and how the conflicts could be solved. The end, however, was rather unexpected, and incredibly clever.
All An Act Theatre’s production of “All My Sons” is powerful, gritty, and captivating from start to finish, and drama at its best.
As a must see play, “All My Sons” is not an easy night of theater, but one that is really unforgettable and shows off the remarkable theatrical talent that Erie has to offer, and the high caliber of theater that All An Act consistently produces.
“All My Sons” will run through Aug., 26-28, Sept. 2-4 and 9-11 at All An Act Theatre, 652 W. 17th St. All performances are at 7:30 p.m. except Sundays, which are at 3 p.m. Tickets are $12, $10 for students and seniors. For more information about this play, tickets and reservations, please contact the All An Act Theatre Box Office at 814-450-8553 or visit their website at www.allanact.net.