Sunday, October 16, 2011

Night at the Theater: All My Sons

On Thursday night, Donna and I attended our second play at Angelo State University (ASU). I reviewed the first play we attended there back in August, which was Butterflies are Free. If you read that review, you will recall that I was not overly impressed. Our experience this time was better.

The students of ASU performed Arthur Miller's All My Sons. Miller, of course, is one of the most notable American playwrights, and All My Sons is one of his better plays. First produced on Broadway beginning in 1947, it beat out Eugene O'Neill's The Iceman Cometh for the New York Drama Critics' Circle Award. In other words, it is a good play.

Set immediately following World War II, the play is actually loosely based on a true story. During the war, two partners manufactured parts for fighter aircraft. During production at one time, a number of faulty parts were produced; although the partners knew of the problems, they shipped the parts to the military anyway. As a result, numerous planes crashed killing several pilots and crew members.

The play then centers around the pursuit of the American Dream at all costs and how the various family members react to this issue.

The play, in general, was well acted, especially the parts of the father, Joe Keller, and his son, Chris Keller. The ages of the characters in the play range from an 8-year old boy to Joe Keller, who is in his sixties. It is difficult for college students to pull off such a range, but with only 1 or 2 exceptions, the actors were believable in their roles.

Other than a few botched lines which were not that noticeable, this was an enjoyable play, certainly better than the first ASU production we attended.

In the next couple of weeks, we will attend the production of Wait Until Dark by the Angelo Civic Theater. We are eager to see if the quality of this play matches that of Cabaret, which we saw a month or so ago.

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