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ALL MY SONS

October 25 - Nevember 12, 2017

All My Sons

Written by Arthur Miller
Directed by Mark Schneider

Winner of the New York Drama Critics' Circle Award for Best New Play and the Tony for Best Author, the play introduces themes that would preoccupy Miller throughout his career: the relationships between fathers and sons and the conflict between business and personal ethics. Joe Keller and Steve Deever, partners in a machine shop during World War II, turned out defective airplane parts, causing the deaths of many men. Deever was sent to prison while Keller escaped punishment and went back to business, making himself very wealthy in the ensuing years. A love affair between Keller's son, Chris, and Ann Deever, Steve's daughter; the bitterness of George Deever, who returns from the war to find his father in prison and his father's partner free; and the reaction of Chris Keller to his father's guilt escalate toward a climax of electrifying intensity.

Tickets: $18 - $34

 


CAST BIOS

All My Sons

La Cage 1

All My Sons

La Cage 1

THEATRE REVIEWS

'All My Sons' lays bare the American Dream
By Maureen Flanagan Battistella for the Mail Tribune

"All My Sons" is a powerful story of fathers and sons and money and morality. Arthur Miller wrote "All My Sons" shortly after WWII and in it he exposed a tarnished American Dream. The play opened this week at Camelot Theatre and speaks directly to today's fractured national psyche, where self-interest and decency collide.

Business partners Joe Keller and Steve Deever knowingly shipped defective airplane parts that caused 21 planes to crash. Deever took the fall and went to jail while Keller was exonerated and became wealthy. Their children though are caught in their fathers' sins of deception and cowardice, and as adults must face the truth that confronts them.

"All My Sons" demonstrates the human capacity to survive, to try to bear what is otherwise impossible to imagine. Death, wartime loss, betrayal — in "All My Sons," these deep seated pains are hidden away just beneath the surface. If the play's tormented characters can even hope to endure, the pains must be painted over with some semblance of normalcy. This distortion of reality, this human conflict is apparent from the moment one steps into the theater.

Mark Schneider's direction of "All My Sons" brings this unique and conflicting vision to "All My Sons," especially evident in set design and sound. Waiting for the performance to begin, the audience hears discordant music filled with percussive notes, groans and saws that make us anxious and almost irritable. The set is outsized, deliberately out of proportion. The white clapboard house and picket fence are caricatures and during the performance the sounds of nature — birds chirping and frogs croaking — highlight the emotions played out on stage. The neighborhood on stage is a backdrop for projections of Lyonel Feininger's abstract, geometrical paintings in a palette of pinks and oranges and green.

There's something off, something not right here and in the watching, one has an urge to correct an ill-defined, unknown wrong.

As Kate Keller, Gwen Overland trembles with the force of her belief that her missing son Larry still lives and to suggest otherwise invites anger and denial. She is sick though at the darkness, words not spoken, truths not acknowledged. Peter Alzado's performance as the working class Joe Keller is outstanding, complete with suspenders, a broad weather-beaten face and his hail-fellow-well-met attitude.

Kate and Joe try desperately to keep their dreams alive, with Joe determined to ensure the continuation of his business earned at such cost. Their surviving son Chris, played by Dayvin Turchiano, is ever hopeful, always cheerful and loved by all. His darkness is the loss of his men in battle, men who were his family, his fellows. Overland, Alzado and Turchiano are compelling in their roles, the strength of their performance swaying perception even in the face of exposure.

Other characters in "All My Sons" revolve around the Kellers, seeing more clearly the reality and costs of Joe's wartime actions, of Kate's beliefs and Chris' goodness. Emanuelle Bains as Ann Deever only infrequently reveals an Australian accent as she is pulled into and out of the Kellers' fictions. Richard Heller as Jim Bayliss, Mig Windows as Sue Bayliss and Erny Rosales as George Deever serve as a Greek chorus of sorts bringing reality to the forefront throughout with an honesty and directness and humility of performance that is a pleasure to see.

It takes strength and courage to speak the truth, to acknowledge the darkness in the souls of these players. It requires personal honesty and courage to admit to wrongdoing, to accept fault and to forgive. It is a question each character in “All My Sons” must ask and answer.

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
Well-done performance of meaty Miller play
By Jeffrey Gillespie For the Daily Tidings

Mark Schneider, who directs Camelot Theatre's new production of "All My Sons" by Arthur Miller, has compared Miller's characters to the artwork of New York-born German painter Lyonel Feininger. This is an interesting observation, to be sure; Feininger's work is jarring, operates in both the seen and the unseen, and ultimately juxtaposes the tame, pastoral surface of the American experience with an aggressive and somewhat disturbing visual theme that startles the viewer with prismatic windows into other dimensions.

The characters in "All My Sons" carry similar dichotomies. Cheerful, neighborly and charismatic on the surface of things - where everything is about chummy discussions on vegetable gardens and offers of grape drink to parched guests — Miller's characters are, of course, gliding blithely through an epidemic of denial, self-loathing, blame, generational dynamics and overall angst.

As Joe Keller, the play's central character, Peter Alzado is blissful to watch. A survivor of the Manhattan theater scene with some 125 plays to his credit, Alzado is made for this kind of meaty, traditional, male role. His Joe is a man filled with bravado and easy charm, but hides a tragic secret. Joe has built up a core group of enablers around him, including his wife, son and neighbors, all of whom are either turning a blind eye to the ugly truth of his business successes, or are working hard to blithely deny the reason behind them. Gwen Overland, as Joe's wife, Kate, is a twitching wreck of a creature, always on full alert for any allusion that might make her husband look bad.

Both Alzado and Overland are long-time professionals with Actors Equity credentials, and it shows; their nuanced performances are the bedrock of this production, and they can teach their fellow cast members a thing or two about acting for the stage. Overland's performance is particularly heartbreaking and worthy of your deeper attention.

Playing the couples son, Chris Keller — a young military man recently back from the war — Dayvin Turchiano is excellent, all square-jawed mendacity and alpha male tension. In the scenes where he faces down his father, Turchiano goes head-to-head with the formidable Alzado and holds his own. Playing Keller's fiancee, Ann, is Australian transplant Emanuelle Bains, in her first appearance at Camelot — a stellar new performer for the company, with obvious chops and an intoxicating natural beauty that floats over the assembled patrons like a sweet breeze headed up from Bondi Beach. Bains's Ann is a woman who knows how to make a ruthless compromise. Underneath her ingenue-like banality is a tough operator who knows how to feather her own nest.

There are several neighbors who make appearances throughout the show, each making a quality contribution to the overall action: Brianna Gowland, Dan Hanvey and Bhodi Johnson all do good work in their various supporting roles. Richard Heller is particularly strong as Jim Bayliss, the Keller's next door neighbor who is as adept as Joe is when it comes to ducking responsibility, playing it up as another benevolent patriarch.

As Jim's wife, Sue, Mig Windows makes her debut at Camelot as a sort of hard-boiled postwar hausfrau — think Alice from the Honeymooners with a bit of Betty Bacall thrown in for good measure. Window's take on a prying, pessimistic small-town shrew is pitch perfect. In another great performance, Camelot regular Erny Rosales gives a strong showing as George Deever, a successful New York lawyer and World War II veteran who returns to town in a rage to expose the long-hidden conspiracy on which the core drama of the play is founded.

The decision to mount a strong American meat and potatoes play like "All My Sons" is a good one on the part of the Camelot leadership, especially with such a seasoned group of thespians ensuring a palatable result. The strength of the two main actors, combined with the professionalism and enthusiasm of the ensemble cast, makes for a delicious night of theater. The tension all builds to a mighty climax, and the result is a production that doesn't disappoint. You can't really go wrong with Arthur Miller, but this group takes on a great play and makes it their own. See "All My Sons" — it won't disappoint.

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