Monday, October 13, 2008

All My Sons (Gerald Schoenfeld)

Dianne Wiest, John Lithgow, Katie Holmes and Patrick Wilson, the leads in All My Sons.

BOTTOM LINE: Holmes, I stand corrected.

Back in May, when the cast of All My Sons was announced and I learned that Katie Holmes would play the role of Ann Deever, I wrote about my concern for this casting choice. I was worried that All My Sons, a tremendous play by Arthur Miller, was too complex a production for Katie's acting abilities. You can read my snarky post of doubt here.

I am both pleased and humbled to tell you that Holmes did not suck hard. In fact, she didn't suck at all. She was actually really good. And acting alongside her were John Lithgow, Dianne Wiest, Patrick Wilson, and a stellar supporting cast. All My Sons is a near-perfect production. It's certainly one of the best plays I've ever seen. And Holmes deserves to be a part of it.

All My Sons is the very heavy story of the Kellers, a Midwestern family post-WWII. The Kellers are nearly destroyed themselves as a result of the war: younger son Larry went missing in combat 3 years prior and father, Joe (Lithgow), was involved in a scandal that sent his business partner to jail and contributed to the deaths of many soldiers when faulty plane parts were knowingly sent overseas. This business partner happens to be the father of Larry's girlfriend Ann (Holmes). The play opens as Ann comes back to town to visit the older Keller son, Chris (Wilson), who wants to marry Ann. The mother, Kate (Wiest) refuses to accept that Larry is dead and therefore forbids Chris from marrying Larry's girl.

It's dysfunctional, it's depressing, it's maticulously executed. Simon McBurney's direction is engaging and always appropriate. The production design leaves the audience engrossed in the acting on stage (which is really stellar on all counts). The theatrical experience is visceral and moving, and this well-crafted story is given roots to grow and challenge its audience. I loved this performance and I think it's well worth seeing for anyone who enjoys the pleasure of live theatre. Plus, the acting is as supurb as can be.

(All My Sons plays a limited engagement through January 11, 2009 at the Gerald Schoenfeld Theatre, 236 W. 45th Street. Opening night is Thursday, October 16th. Show times are: Tuesday at 7pm, Wednesday - Saturday at 8pm, Wednesday & Saturday at 2pm and Sunday at 3pm. Tickets are expensive: $116.50 down to $61.50. Standing room only tickets are available for $26.50 for sold out performances. And check out for discount codes. For more info visit

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