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 this tremendous play by Arthur Miller was too complex a production for Holmes’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 have nearly been destroyed as a result of the war: younger son Larry went missing in combat three years prior and the 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 her. Kate Keller (Wiest), the mother, refuses to accept that Larry is dead and therefore forbids Chris from marrying his brother’s girlfriend.
It’s dysfunctional, it’s depressing, it’s meticulously executed. Simon McBurney’s direction is engaging and always appropriate, and the production design leaves the audience engrossed in the performances. The theatrical experience is visceral and moving, and this well-crafted story is given roots to grow and challenge its audience. I loved this production of All My Sons, and I think it’s well worth seeing for anyone who enjoys the pleasure of live theatre. Plus, the acting is as superb as can be.
All My Sons plays a limited engagement through January 11 at the Gerald Schoenfeld Theatre, 236 W. 45th St. Showtimes are Tue 7 PM, Wed-Sat 8 PM (also Wed and Sat 2 PM), and Sun 3 PM. Tickets are expensive: $61.50-$116.50; standing-room-only tickets are available for $26.50 for sold-out performances. Check out broadwaybox.com for discount codes, allmysonsonbroadway.com for show info, and theatreiseasy.com for more reviews and NY theatre information.