Award-winning actors Annette Bening and Tracy Letts return to Broadway in the play that launched Arthur Miller as the moral voice of the American Theater. More…
In the aftermath of WWII, the Keller family struggles to stay intact and to fight for their future when a long-hidden secret threatens to emerge—forcing them to reckon with greed, denial, repentance, and post-war disenchantment across generations.
"There is a real and precious thing at the center of 'All My Sons.' It is the trio of Tracy Letts, Annette Bening and Benjamin Walker...All three are believable in every detail—blockbuster actors dedicated to small, unshowy connections to one another. In scene after scene, they do wonders. Around them, though, is a flatter and falser world...What does work after all the decades is Miller’s stunning climax, a series of emotional explosions." Full Review
"Letts and Walker have superb onstage chemistry as father and son. One of their last scenes is especially effective and riveting...O’Brien keeps things straightforward here, with a simple black and white video projection of war planes preceding the first act. O’Brien keeps the focus on the story. Although not all cast members are up to the par of the task at hand, O’Brien gets superlative performances from the actors playing the lead roles." Full Review
"Those climactic performances by Bening, Letts and Walker will be enough for many audience members. For theatergoers who might join in the criticism that the script is dated or implausible or otherwise flawed, it’s useful to consider this production through three lenses. The first is the time in which it was written and in which it is set...Here is where the second lens comes in handy – seeing the play as Miller intended it to be, as a Greek tragedy involving everyday Americans." Full Review
"With Letts smoldering away, the whole decency thing is a sham — an affectation, a role Joe has learned how to play. And Annette Bening is not far behind: She elicits relatively little sympathy as Kate...Letts’ performance likely will strike some as odd or disconnected — I find it perfectly in tune with the moment, and there is much to like about Bening’s work, too...Had Letts been given some raging players to match his own buried ferocity, we'd likely have seen even more of his teeth." Full Review
"The production seems caught between a solid midcentury Broadway realism and a more theatrically fluid 21st century approach. But the core of the play, the situation of a disillusioned son’s inevitable confrontation with his hypocritical father that Miller would potently redeploy in 'Death of a Salesman,' is explosively renewed...O’Brien’s ensemble mixes realism with contemporary classicism in a catch-as-catch-can way. It’s the acting equivalent of a mixed salad." Full Review
"Unfortunately, Roundabout’s newest revival isn’t able to carry the full weight of one of Miller’s more popular plays...Neither of these performances were helped by O’Brien’s blocking...One standout of the piece that deserves praise is the performance of Hampton Fluker as George...O’Brien’s 'All My Sons' doesn’t add new insight to the classic. Though still incredibly relevant to today’s audiences, the piece feels aged and dated in this production and doesn’t find a full life." Full Review
"'All My Sons' is moderately effective, with strong histrionics from its three leads, but never fully rises to the occasion. Miller's play resonates with contemporary relevance (think capitalistic excess, faulty airplane issues, and 'exoneration') but, at least in this version, seems more dated, wordy, and melodramatically contrived than ever…The emotional storm and stress reaches hurricane levels but, because the situations seem so carefully manufactured…it fails to truly break your heart." Full Review
"There is the pleasure, for the first half anyway, of Miller’s 'All My Sons' of well-executed theatrical convention; the reassurance of a revival done traditionally and done right...There is nothing off-the-wall, no pushing of envelopes, or headline-making outrages. Directed by O’Brien, this is a steady ship, entirely respectful of its source...In this second half that the play starts to creak, and all that seemed grand and luxuriant in the first part begins to feel heavy-handed and rushed." Full Review
"If one is willing to overlook the incongruity of making George black but keeping Ann white, there's something empowering in Ogbuagu and Fluker playing the grim truth tellers amid a sea of white characters who are all suffering from varying degrees of self-delusion...However, this production is a straightforward presentation...Still, if seeing a powerful drama staged and performed well is enough of a reward, then this new production mostly satisfies." Full Review
"This production stays painting itself on the surface like bug repellent. Their 'All My Sons' is trying to see it all as humanly as possible, but slips on the wet grass, out from under its own steady feet...The production stumbles, failing to live up to the tragedy that swirls around the home, leaving familial destruction that has little impact on those baring witness to the events. I was as unflinching as Kate, when I wanted to be as devastated as Chris." Full Review
"The play’s glaring issues go unexamined...Miller’s not a wit, nor is he particularly agile with seeming small talk or elegant exposition...What does stick out—over and over again—as the play ploddingly establishes its circumstances, is its blithe sexism...While Letts and Walker eventually get to tear down the roof—and it is exciting to watch them do it—it’s a little heartbreaking to witness what the brilliant, incisive Bening is given to work with by comparison." Full Review
"Jack O'Brien's production is somewhat safe and predictable: it feels very much like reading rather than seeing the play, and there is no indication that this 'All My Sons' is all that different from one that could have been staged ten or twenty or even thirty years ago. At a time when questions of economic and criminal justice are fertile ground for theatrical exploration, O'Brien's take is just a tad complacent." Full Review
"It is as though the director does not trust the audience and feels that everything has to be underscored to help us understand the plot. This only diminishes the play's effectiveness as a both a tragedy and a cautionary tale. While Arthur Miller's 'All My Sons' still works as a very powerful indictment of capitalism in America, the Roundabout Theatre Company production makes it look much older than it actually is with all the emoting that goes on in the course of the evening." Full Review
"Bening makes us feel the weight of her burden...She doesn’t quite match her gifted co-star’s ease of performance on stage...Jack O’Brien’s production means to give us a very naturalistic 'All My Sons.'...Which is another problem. The grass is a little too green, the wisteria too lavender...Chris and Ann don’t make a good couple, at least as awkwardly performed by Walker and Carpanini. The two actors don’t even physically look right together." Full Review
"The most pulse-pounding moment in this surface-skimming production is the thunderstorm projected in black and white over the pre-show drop, as if transporting us from Kansas to Oz...The performances likewise feel wrapped for individual consumption, rarely cohering or combusting, even as the family’s secrets come tumbling out...O’Brien makes little case for the play’s urgency, though its interrogation of capitalist deceit in the name of legacy certainly hold up." Full Review
"O’Brien’s literal-minded production does not make a resonant case for the drama today...Ms. Bening goes deepest of the four leads in exploring the muck at the bottom of her character’s personality. She also has terrific technique...But the opacity of the production overall means we still can’t read her with any clarity, and the play acquires a weird wobble at its core...The production is almost never moving, except when Ann’s brother, George, shows up intending to expose everyone’s lies." Full Review
"CK: We share general feelings on the play itself—chiefly, that it’s over-obvious and sanctimonious. I certainly felt the overly straightforward nature of this production did the play no favors. More than ever, it seemed like a parable that’s been plotted within an inch of its life...DF: Bening’s clearly a fine stage actor, but here she seems so deliberately drabbed down that it’s almost showy. Neither she nor Tracy Letts—also a terrific actor—ever convinced me they were a married couple." Full Review
See it if You’re okay with the Arthur Miller meandering that gets you to the exquisite 3rd act. The cast is exceptional, especially the 3 leads.
Don't see it if You don’t like long shows, need comedy or lighter dramas, don’t like period pieces, or want a clear person or idea to root for.
See it if Intense family drama w/ Incredible performances & superb writing. Arthur Miller really is in a league of his own.
Don't see it if If you appreciate plays there is no reason not to see this. My favorite revival of this season.
See it if You enjoy a narrative play, a family story related to social issues that remain timely. And you are a fan of Annette Bening.
Don't see it if You want to see a musical comedy. Or only like cynicism.
See it if A flawless revival; Bening and Letts bring intensity and emotional resonance. The play moves swiftly to its epic tragic denouement
Don't see it if You don't like revivals of older works. It is a true Miller masterpiece, and this production honors that.
See it if You like intense family dramas with secrets revealed. Much in the genre of "Death of a Salesman", father and son(s) are the focus.
Don't see it if It can be quite distressing and depressing. While not "typical", it's a metaphor for overly ambitious fathers and projecting on to the son.
See it if You want to experience one of Arthur Miller's great plays with outstanding performances by the 3 leads (and the rest of the cast).
Don't see it if You don't like heavy drama. This is Miller at his moral best. Also, if you can't get past colorblind casting this is not for you.
See it if you want to see a superb cast in a classic play by a great American writer dealing with moral issues that are always relevant!
Don't see it if you don't like serious, intense plays or if you find anything set in 1947 "dated"
See it if You like great acting. Letts and Benning were amazing. You like intense family dramas. The ending was quite a shock
Don't see it if You don't like heavy dramas. Don't like plays centered around the subject of war and death
See it if You appreciate a classic, solid storyline and superb casting/acting. And especially if you enjoy deconstructing an ending on the way home
Don't see it if You need something super profound, multiple set changes, or a lot of fluffy stuff. This one is all about the story and the storytellers
See it if an excellent, moving production in which the nearly flawless and seemingly effortless acting draws you in
Don't see it if the plot does wobble a teeny bit here and there, but the direction and acting make that flaw insignificant
See it if You appreciate great writing and acting. Also thought provoking as only Arthur Miller can be. A serious adult drama for our time
Don't see it if You don't care for intense family/human drama. This is a serious adult play.
See it if you are interested in plays by Arthur Miller with a talented cast led Annette Bening and Tracy Letts. It is intense and absorbing.
Don't see it if you do not enjoy deep stories about family relationships, conflicts, and secrets.
See it if You like Arthur Miller, serious drama, issues of importance / relevance on stage and fine acting.
Don't see it if You want something fluffy, comic and /or musical and you believe vapid reviews such as that in the NY Times.
See it if you're debating which are Arthur Millers top three plays. Annette Bening's fab performance might find you giving this early play the bronze.
Don't see it if you're reluctant to look at your father for who he really is because it will force you to look at yourself for who you really are. Brutal!
See it if Masterpieces brought to life with very few flaws interests you. All the major players here give top notch performances. Classic drama.
Don't see it if You’re looking for light and fluffy. This is classic Arthur Miller-you’ll feel like you need a shower by the end cause you just feel dirty.
Also Fantastic. Loved it.
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